Broth is a liquid in which bones, meat, fish, cereal grains, or vegetables have been simmered. Broth is used as a basis for other edible liquids such as soup, gravy, or sauce. It can be eaten alone or with garnish. If other ingredients are used, such as rice, pearl barley or oatmeal, it is then generally called soup.
In Britain, broth is a nourishing thick soup with chunks of vegetables, pulses and sometimes meat.
U.S. cooking schools often differentiate between broth, usually made from viable portions of animal meat, and stock, which may be less palatable, often made from vegetable scraps and bones.
Broth has been made for many years using the animal bones which, traditionally, are boiled in a cooking pot for long periods to extract the flavour and nutrients. The bones may or may not have meat still on them.
When it is necessary to clarify a broth (i.e. for a cleaner presentation), egg whites may be added during simmering â€“ the egg whites will coagulate, trapping sediment and turbidity into a readily strainable mass.
In East Asia (particularly Japan), a form of kelp called kombu is often used as the basis for broths (called dashi in Japanese).