Before you throw your vegetable scraps away, use them to make a flavorful vegetable broth which can be used in soups, sauces, to cook grains and more.

Many recipes require vegetable broth and it’s easy to make your own. It lasts months in the freezer and lets you make use of scraps you’d otherwise toss away.

Making a vegetable broth doesn’t require a set recipe, instead you follow a series of steps using what you have.

How to Make Vegetable Broth from Vegetable Scraps

1. Start saving your scraps. I keep a big Ziploc in my freezer to which I add vegetable scraps – peels, stems, or occasionally, when I have odd bits of veggies that I know I won’t use and are bound to go bad, I’ll add those into the bag. Keeping the scraps in the freezer stops them from going bad so you can slowly add your scraps until the bag is full and you’re ready to make a batch of vegetable broth. You can use as many or as little scraps as you want – more will result in a richer broth.

2. Once you have enough scraps i.e., your bag is full, heat some olive oil or coconut oil in a large pot. Add your scraps (no need to defrost they can go straight in) and cook on low for 3-5 minutes to soften and bring out some flavor. At this point you can also add spices and herbs (peppercorns, salt, any fresh herbs I have on hand, and a bay leaf are my go-to additions). Fill the pot with water and bring to a boil. Reduce and simmer for an hour or two. The longer you simmer, the richer the stock will be and the darker in color it will get. I usually cook for just one hour.

3. Once cooked, strain the stock through a big sieve to remove all the vegetable scraps. Pour the stock into Tupperware (freezer) or glass jars (fridge) and let cool completely before storing in the fridge or freezer. It keeps in the fridge for 1 week and the freezer for up to 3 months. I like storing mine in various sized Tupperware so if I need some for soup, I can defrost the right amount and if I need just a cup for a sauce, I can defrost that amount.

What Vegetable Scraps to Use

Don’t use anything too bitter (like bitter greens) or something that will throw off the flavor or add a strange color (like beets, potatoes, and butternut). I will always add in onion skins, celery stalks and carrot peels. Other veggies I like to add in are parsnips, marrows, fennel, leeks, and kale stems.

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