Dehydrator

Homemade Vegetable Bouillon Powder

I have been wanting to make this for ages. I love the convenience of a bouillon cube or broth powder to add to soups, stocks, sauces or many other dishes. What I don’t like about the commercial powders are the ingredients. Too much sodium, to many preservatives, too many products with miles long lists of chemicals and artificial ingredients. The natural products are of course better ingredient wise but they are so expensive and I can’t justify paying the steep price for so little amount of powder.

In the past I have made stock that I have frozen in ice tray cubes and have used them from frozen but they are not the most convenient and they are not concentrated enough so they add water along with the flavour. I have also tried a variation of Annie’s recipe  but it wasn’t what I was looking for which was something dry and easy to store and use and with flavours that I enjoy more.

While looking through the Blendtec recipe book that I got with my blender I found the perfect recipe. I of course adapted it to my liking but it is exactly what I was looking for. It is made with dehydrated vegetables, nutritional yeast, herbs and aromatics. It adds a wonderful depth and the perfect amount of saltines without the salt overpowering the flavours.

You can start with fresh vegetables that you already have around the house and dehydrate them on your own or you can buy dehydrated vegetables from the store (often sold in bulk near the soup broths etc) . I have a dehydrator, so of course I used it, but instead of starting from fresh, I bought a bag of frozen vegetables. All you need to do is put them on the tray still frozen and dehydrate as usual. This mix had peppers, onions and asparagus and I added some leftover raw broccoli that I had in the fridge. I also dehydrated my own mushrooms but you can also buy them dried if you wish and use a bit less in the recipe.

I love how little space dehydrated veggies take and thought I would store the extra, but Willa decided to snack on them and I didn’t have an extras afterwards.

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  • 1 c nutritional yeast
  • 1/3 cup Kosher or Sea salt
  • 1/3 c dehydrated mushrooms
  • 1 c dehydrated mixed vegetables
  • 2 tbsp onion powder
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp dried green onion
  • 2 tsp dried parsley
  • 1 tsp dried dill
  • 1 tsp dried lemon zest
  • 2 tsp of poultry seasoning
Of course, these herbs and aromatics are what I like to use, but you can change it up to make different flavours. Have fun with it!
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Add all of the ingredients to your blender and blend to a fine powder.
Store in a tight closed container (I use a mason jar)

Use a tsp of powder for each cup of water to use as broth, or add it directly to foods for a bit of seasoning. 

 

Dehydrated Curried Lentil Soup

Let me say this first, I don’t like Lentils.

I mean… at all.. but I do want to like them.

They are cheap, they are filling and they are healthy (and how can I call myself a hippie if I don’t eat lentils!) but each time I tried a recipe I ended up hating them even more.

A few weeks ago I picked up a bag of Lentils at the grocery store determined to try et least one more time.. this week I put Lentil soup on my meal plan.

Because the recipes that I have tried in the past never worked for me, this time I didn’t have a recipe, I didn’t have a guideline… I just decided to wing it… it worked. I loved this soup!

I used my pressure cooker to make the soup as I was in a bit of a rush and I will definitely be making it that way each time…

For the soup:

  • Chop up 1 Large onion and sauté in a bit of Olive oil.
  • Add a few minced garlic cloves
  • Add a few stalks of celery, a few carrots and a red pepper (all diced)
  • Cook down the veggies for a few minutes and add some salt and pepper, cumin powder, garlic powder, oregano and basil and a few tsp of curry powder.
  • Add about 8-9 cups of stock (Veggie or Chicken)
  • Add 1 small can of tomato paste
  • Finally add in 2 cups of dried red Lentils

If using a pressure cooker, bring to a simmer, put the lid on, bring to pressure and cook for 20 min.

If using a pot, cook for about an hour or until the lentils have given up their shape and the soup is all creamy and thick.

Adjust seasoning to taste…

This was our meal last night and the leftovers were put away in the fridge. That is when the dehydrating idea came into play.

I am loving my dehydrator and have been wanting to try dehydrating soup that can then be powdered and reconstituted with hot water. Great for a quick meal, snack or for when we go camping…

Using the non-stick sheets in my dehydrator, I lathered about 1 1/2 cups of the thick soup onto the sheets about 1/4″ thick, making 6 trays of soup.

I put the dehydrator at the temp that I usually use for veggies and fruits, so quite warm, and after about 1-2 hours I started seeing the thinner parts were becoming very dry and crumbly. After about 6-7 hours all the trays were completely dry, even the thicker parts.

Dehydrated Curried Lentil soup

Dehydrated Curried Lentil soup

Next, I put all of the pieces in the Food processor and made it all into a powder…

 

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It was really that simple…

Of course we had to test it out. It took about 3-4 Tbsp of powder to get a good consistency in one cup of water… it is a bit thinner than the original soup, though I could be thicker if I used more powder, but the flavour was right on and Xavier brought it into the living room and ate it all up.. so it definitely got the thumbs up!

I am so happy that not only did I make a Lentil soup that I will be making again, but it also made a great instant meal for the whole family!