Funny how mankind has been curing with salt for an eternity, but very few preserve with it these days. Honestly, my initial thoughts of trying it were both fascinating and terrifying. A soup bouillon mix that lasts for 6 months?? REALLY?? Our neighbor discovered my new project and suggested that Sir Bradley and I try this on alternate weeks, so only one of us would die. Ha!
The science is that salt is very hypertonic, and it cures by drawing so much moisture out of cells that bacteria cannot survive. A 10% salt concentration will prevent bacterial growth, and 20% is required to actually kill bacteria and mold.
Below is the recipe for vegetable bouillon cured with salt. As a concentrated paste of fresh vegetables, it can be used in place of vegetable broth for soups or sauces. Think of it as "instant from scratch," saving you time later on and offering a unique flavor! It is quite mild and enhances every recipe I've tried. It does not work well as an instant broth, however; remember the vegetables are raw and they need to simmer and cook.
Vegetable Bouillon Mix
Note this recipe absolutely requires a kitchen scale, and a food processor is highly recommended!
9 oz leek
7 oz fennel
8 oz carrot
9 oz celery or celery root
2 oz sun dried tomatoes
3 garlic cloves
3-1/2 oz parley
3-1/2 oz cilantro
1 tsp black peppercorns
~ 3/4 c. sea salt*
Use the freshest vegetables around. Scrub, clean, and peel. You can also add shallots, onions, mushrooms, green peppers, turnips, etc. Add other herbs and spices as desired. The weights above are suggested, but can be changed to suit your taste.
Chop everything up using a good food processor. Then weigh the vegetable mixture.
*Add 5 parts vegetables to 1 part salt by weight. Simply divide the ounces of vegetables by 5 to obtain the ounces of salt needed. If the vegetables weigh 20 oz, add 4 oz of salt.
Place in jars and store in a cool, dry place. (This recipe fills 3 pint jars.) Let sit for 1 week before using.
To use, add 1 tsp mixture to 1 cup of water.