Dinner is a time to relax and connect after a long day filled with many activities. My intention is for dinner to be a tranquil oasis for my family, a place where we pause, give thanks, enjoy each other’s company, and eat delicious, nourishing food together. I’ve found that planning ahead makes this kind of peaceful dinner happen much more often.
While I love this special time of the day, the last thing I want is to eat a heavy meal that requires a lot of prep time in the kitchen, or hours of clean up in the evenings.
Having homemade broth on hand has made dinner a joy for me. It’s versatile, deeply nourishing, soothing, fast, and best of all, delicious and satisfying. I’ve discovered broth can be the base for meals that can be lighter or heartier, depending on the season and the needs of members of the famly.
Here’s the basic broth recipe we use, from The Splendid Table. You can also buy broth easily at the store.
My husband makes broth every week or two, because we go through a lot, especially in the winter. It keeps well in the freezer. It’s comforting to know that with broth in the freezer, and some veggies, I’ve got dinner. Even in the summer, on cool days like today, it makes a perfect, nourishing dinner.
I don’t really follow a recipe, but create a broth-based dinner by reflecting on what would taste good to me, whatever’s in season, and what’s in my fridge.
Spring is often an especially busy time. Being exhausted recently, after a Saturday of garden work, and with 15 min. to prep dinner, I melted frozen broth, and made this simple soup pictured above with carrots, bokchoy, spinach, noodles, and chicken. I had the chicken leftover from lunch, and the veggies were what I had in the fridge. The spices used were coriander, cumin, a pinch of cayenne, black pepper and soy sauce—but you can use whatever suits you.
This same broth works with canned tomatoes, chick peas, onions, basil and shrimp. Rice, curry, tofu, veggies, and miso work too. The variations are endless. Try out combinations that appeal to you.
Broth makes delicious soups, healthy, satisfying dinners that save the day, and bring everyone together at our house—try it and see!