Alkaline Vegetable Broth Recipe

This easy-to-make soup is as tasty as it is healthy

Vegetable soup
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Alkaline broth is a vegetable broth that's packed with vitamins and minerals including potassium. It's easy to make and a nutritious alternative to prepackaged broths or bullion used in recipes. The broth also a staple of the alkaline diet.

The alkaline diet is a plant-based diet that emphasizes fresh fruit, vegetables, roots, tubers, nuts, and legumes with the aim of maintaining optimal pH levels in the blood. According to proponents of the diet, the body functions best with a pH in the range of 7.35 to 7.45.

Foods that are considered acid-inducing, such as meat, dairy, poultry, fish, eggs, caffeine, alcohol, and fried or processed foods, are largely avoided.

While there is little evidence that an alkaline diet can render the benefits claimed by its supporters (especially that the diet can materially affect blood pH for the purpose of treating diseases), there is no doubt that eating fewer processed foods is a good thing. In fact, alkaline broth can be a healthy addition to any diet.

How to Make an Alkaline Broth

This foundational recipe for vegetable broth can be modified according to your personal taste. A general rule of thumb is to use one to two cups of three different vegetables to achieve the ideal flavor balance. By pairing, say, a root vegetable with a leafy vegetable, you'll have more rounded flavors that can stand up to even the best of meat broths.

Here are some of the vegetables you can choose from:

  • Green leafy vegetables such as kale, spinach, Swiss chard, collard greens, turnip greens, and mustard greens
  • Green and white vegetables such as celery, fennel, cabbage green beans, zucchini, broccoli, peas, fennel, turnip, rutabaga, and parsnip
  • Red and orange vegetables such as carrot, beet, sweet potato, and squash

You can bolster the flavor by adding herbs and spices such as bay leaf, thyme, tarragon, nutmeg, whole peppercorn, or parsley to the broth. If using onion or garlic, you can either sauté them in advance for a deeper flavor or add them raw with the other chopped ingredients.

Finally, be aware that certain vegetables, such as turnip or rutabaga, can dominate a soup. They are delicious but often best used sparingly.

Sample Ingredients

  • 2 cups baby spinach
  • 2 cups broccoli heads (chopped)
  • 3 cups celery stalk (chopped with leaves removed)
  • 1 zucchini (chopped)
  • 1 whole clove of garlic (peeled)
  • 2 quarts water
  • Sea salt to taste

Cooking Instructions

  1. Wash vegetables and chop into bite-sized pieces.
  2. Place vegetables in a stock pot and cover with water. The waterline should be at least an inch or two above the vegetables. If using herbs or spices you want to remove at the end of cooking (such as bay leaf), wrap in a piece of cheesecloth and knot the cloth tightly.
  3. Bring to a boil, then lower heat to simmer.
  4. Skim the foam off the top of the soup as it cooks. This will prevent the broth from getting cloudy.
  5. Cook for 30 minutes or until the vegetables are soft and easily pierced with a fork. Root vegetables may take longer.
  6. Cool and strain the broth. Alternately, you can puree the broth and vegetables with an immersion blender or leave cooked vegetables whole.
  7. Salt to taste. Depending on your preference, a good starting point is roughly 1 tsp. salt per quart of water.

The broth will keep for several days in the refrigerator if tightly sealed.

Dr. Bieler's Broth Recipe

One of the original alkaline broth recipes was from Henry Bieler, M.D., author of the 1965 book "Food Is Your Best Medicine." The ingredients for this recipe are:

  • 4 medium zucchini (chopped)
  • 1 pound green beans (trimmed)
  • 2 celery stalks (chopped)
  • 2 bunches of parsley (stems removed and leaves chopped)
  • 1 quart filtered water
  • Fresh herbs such as thyme or tarragon (optional)
  • Sea salt to taste

Follow the same cooking instructions as above.

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