There is no wrong way to make homemade vegetable broth from scraps, it always comes out delicious, and it is a great way to use whole veggies. Also, making sure that you get the maximum amount of flavor and utility out of the food you eat is a great way to ensure that your cash stretches as far as possible in the kitchen.
On top of that, you know precisely what you’ve put into your stock, so you won’t have to worry about allergens or any unhealthy additives and preservatives.
What you need to make vegetable broth
- Veggie scraps: Every time you start cooking, save the veggie scraps in a freezer safe bag or freezer safe container. You can save carrot tops and peels, onion, garlic and shallot peels and tops.
- Celery, mushroom and herb (parsley, rosemary, bay leaf, oregano, etc.) stems, leek tops and bottoms. You could also add some greens like kale, cabbage or cauliflower or broccoli greens.
- The possibilities are endless.
How to make the best homemade vegetable broth from scraps
From flavor to health to saving cash, making your stock is an excellent idea for your kitchen. Here are the basic steps to give it a go, along with some pointers.
- Collect kitchen scrapsFirst things first, you’ll need to collect up any vegetable scraps from your cooking. This can be almost anything, really, from seeds to stalks to cores to roots.
The most common thing is skins, such as carrots or another root veg.
- Roast your frozen scraps in the ovenNext, add all the scraps into a pan in the oven. I recommend going for roughly 400˚F for twenty minutes or so.
Toss your scraps with olive oil or other vegetable oil and some salt (I use kosher salt) before roasting to impart a little extra flavor.
Let them roast until golden but don’t forget to move the scraps around from time to time and to rotate the baking sheet.
- Boil and simmerNow, add all the roasted scraps to a large stockpot. It doesn’t have to be a large specialist stockpot, but having something tall like a large Dutch oven or a pasta pot will do.
Using roughly one cup of water per cup of scraps, bring the mixture to a boil before reducing to a simmer.
A simmer will allow the flavor to seep into the liquid without too much water immediately dissolving.
Make sure to have the lid cracked ever so slightly, as this will prevent the pot from boiling over.
Let it simmer for 30 to 60 minutes to get the most flavor out of it.
- STRAIN THE SOLIDSNow, strain the solids out of your stock. A handy way to do this is to use another pot to catch the liquid you’re pouring, with a fine mesh strainer colander or sieve intercepting the solids.
Expert tips on making vegetable broth
It’s essential, though, not to use potatoes. Making stock with potatoes leads to a mealy texture and a poor finished product.
The best idea is to collect your scraps in a large container in your freezer. Move on to step two to start making your vegetable broth when it’s full.
Be careful of herbs like thyme, as that the leaves can slip through sieves with larger holes.
Add tomato scraps, soy sauce, or mushroom stems if you want more flavor in the broth.
I use approximately 2 cups of water for every pound of solids, in this case scraps.
How to Use your homemade vegetable broth
- You can use it as your liquid for cooking brown rice or quinoa.
- Make vegetable soup, lentil soup or use it as your liquid to cook broccoli for a simple broccoli soup.
- You can also cook your legumes in it, and they will be flavorful and delicious.
- Make noodles, miso, risotto, really, any recipe that calls for water or broth you can use it.
store or preserve the broth
Once the solids are out, your stock is ready to go! I would suggest keeping a portion in the fridge for the next time you need to use it, and then storing the rest for future use. A great way to do this is to freeze the stock in pint-sized portions, used one by one.
You could use mason jars if you keep them in the fridge or freezer bags to freeze them. I don’t freeze liquids in jars because I have not had a good experience with them; they usually break.
Alternatively, you could can your stock, though this is trickier. You’d need to use a pressure cooker or canner, as the content of the can has no acid or preservatives to inhibit bacterial growth. Using a tutorial and a pressure cooker, though, you can create a stock that can last for an extremely long time in a shelf-stable form.
💡Some questions you may have💡 Are broth and stock the same? This is a tricky question because when it comes to homemade vegetable stock or broth it is basically the same. Usually, stock is more concentrated than the broth because it is made with bones. Because of this the texture is also different, but again with vegetables, the difference is minimal. Can you get sick with vegetable broth? If the broth is bad or smells funky, yes you can get sick with it. But on the contrary, if you are sick with a stomach flu and eat homemade vegetable broth can be comforting. Are vegetable broths vegan and gluten-free? It all depends on the brand you buy. Don't forget to read the labels and buy the best one you can. How long will it last? It will last up to five days in the fridge and for up to three months in the freezer.
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So, that’s the basics of how to make a simple vegetable stock to keep your pantry ready all year round. It’s simple and tasty, ideal for a small project to boost your cooking! Make sure to give it a go soon and share a picture of your creation on Facebook or Instagram or save it later on Pinterest.