Easy Homemade Vegetable Broth
I can’t believe I just barely started making my own vegetable broth. I’ve been making my own Homemade Chicken Broth for over a year now, but I was intimidated by vegetable broth. I thought there had to be a special combination of vegetables or something tricky done to it. (I have irrational hesitations sometimes…) My friend Janssen eased my fears, and I found it was just as easy as chicken broth. No, easier.
First, get a gallon-sized freezer zip-top bag. As you prep vegetables for cooking, don’t throw the scraps away. Put them in this bag. Make sure they’re clean, though, and if you don’t buy organic vegetables you might want to be pickier about what you save.
See? Pepper tops, carrot ends (and peels), that outside ring of an onion that always gets discarded… stuff like that. Then stick it in the freezer until the next time you’re prepping vegetables.
When your bag gets so full you can’t fit anymore in there (hey, I see some broccoli stems, too), empty the bag into a big pot. I used a 7 quart.
Start filling the pot with water. Add some fresh herbs (if you have them on hand, if not, dried is fine). I like to add some peppercorns for flavor. I don’t add any salt, though, and prefer to control the salt content while I’m using the finished broth. (Same goes for the chicken broth.)
Fill the pot until the water reaches an inch or so from the top. Put it on the stove, bring to a boil, and let it simmer for 3-5 hours. Or longer, if you happen to forget about it. It’s all good.
When you get done it should look something like this.
Steve came home and saw this lovely concoction and asked me what I was making.
He’s such a trusting man. He gave me a sideways glance, and didn’t say a word. I’ve got him trained. Don’t worry, it only took me about 45 seconds to tell him what it really was.
When the broth has cooled some, get out a really big bowl (I used a 4 quart), a fine-mesh sieve, and a ladle.
Get all of the larger scraps out of the pot, smash them a bit in the sieve to release more broth. As your sieve fills, just dump it into the garbage disposal or the garbage can. Or if you’re really into getting the most out of this stuff, compost it.
After the large pieces are gone, just dump the rest of the broth through the sieve into the bowl. Let it cool to room temperature, then divide it into pretty mason jars.
Or (in my much-less-glamorous case) empty quart-sized yogurt containers. You can also use zip top bags (I find they break sometimes and leak so I quit using them).
I use this when I make rice , quinoa or a vegetarian soup without having to use up my precious chicken broth. It saves so much money, and you know exactly what it’s in it (and what’s not in it). I’m definitely a convert.
- clean vegetable scraps (carrot peels, bell pepper tops, celery ends, onion scraps, broccoli & cauliflower stems, etc.)
- herbs (like rosemary, thyme, parsley, sage)
- whole peppercorns (optional)
- Fill a pot with vegetable scraps. The amount of scraps obviously depends on your pot. I fill a gallon-sized zip-top bag tightly full of scraps and use my 7 qt pot.
- Fill the pot (with the scraps in it) with water until it reaches an inch or so from the top. Add a few peppercorns and a handful of fresh herbs. (Or a few Tablespoons of dried herbs.)
- Bring to a boil, then simmer for 3-4 hours. Remove from the heat.
- When it's cool enough to work with, remove scraps from the water and discard. Strain broth and store in mason jars, zip-top bags, or empty plastic containers. Freezes beautifully.