Happy Friday friends! As you approach the weekend and are possibly meal planning this Sunday, I have a feeling you may need some good ole vegetable broth in at least one of your recipes (oh hello quinoa and cauliflower soup). The first time I tried homemade vegetable broth I was BLOWN away. Simply put, the flavour, cost-effective and intoxicating smell cannot be beaten. Best part? You can use all your kitchen scraps (team no waste!) and I’m going to show you how.
First things first, just for an intro, vegetable broth/vegetable stock is a base liquid used in place of where you’d commonly use water in a recipe. Think soups, cooking quinoa or rice, even one pot dishes. It adds lots of flavour without many calories and is perfect if a recipe is too thick to thicken out (hello pasta dish). It’s sold everywhere, and organic vegetable broth tends to be expensive. Making it at home? Free. Obviously the ingredients aren’t free, but using what you already has always feels so great, doesn’t it?
There are some standard veggies almost always used in broths. Carrots, celery, onions and garlic are pretty much a must. From there, you can add leeks, mushrooms, even fennel. There are of course veggies to avoid which we will get into a bit later. Let’s talk about how you’re going to use up ALL those scraps to make this. Whenever you’re cutting up an onion and you have a bit you didn’t use, throw it in a zipped freezer bag and into the freezer. Cutting up a carrot and not using the head of it? Open same bag and toss it in. Essentially, you’ll accumulate lots of veggie scraps that would’ve otherwise gone into the trash (boo) that are still very much edible.
Keeping it in the freezer preserves it and keeps it fresh, and after a while you’ll have more than enough scraps to make a whole batch of broth. For us, that was only two weeks after the last one we made (revealing to me that we cook a LOT). We had about two cups worth of celery, carrots, onions, garlic, mushroom stems and even a scotch bonnet pepper. This would’ve all gone into the trash but now it can be repurposed to make some yummy free broth.
Here’s the KEY: NEVER use scraps that are spoilt. Uh, we don’t want to eat that. We are talking fresh then frozen scraps. After I’ve collected enough scraps, I make another batch. I also throw in fresh veggies with it too since they’ll always have the best flavour, and love knowing how eco-friendly I’ve been. Big pat on the back.
Making the broth is as easy as adding in all the veggies, 12 cups of filtered water, and then some fresh greens. I LOVE thyme and parsley in mine. By the way you can totally use 10 cups instead; less broth but more flavour. It’s such a non-recipe recipe that you can customise it to your heart’s content once you get the base right.
Lastly, I don’t think broth should be boring. You can punch it up with your own additions. Anything from liquid aminos (I always add this), nutritional yeast or kelp dust if you have. It all adds more umami flavour which is one of my biggest tips for making your broth one you’ll have go back to. A day of sitting will make it taste even more flavourful. A note on salt: I add ½ teaspoon sometimes but truly don’t over salt. You still want this to be a base recipe.
So, what veggies NOT to add? I would leave out any cruciferous veggies: broccoli, cauliflower, also brussel sprouts. These will all make your broth bitter. I would also leave out potatoes – they’ll make your broth cloudy.
Good luck, enjoy and make ALL the yummy food!
- 3 stalks celery, chopped
- 2-3 medium carrots, chopped
- 1 to 2 red onions (or leeks or shallots, or all if you have)
- 3 to 5 cloves garlic (you can lessen, I love adding garlic)
- Few sprigs thyme
- A big handful parsley
- 2-3 cups of frozen veggie scraps
- 10-12 cups filtered water
Optional, but recommended if you have them
- Bell peppers
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 10 peppercorns
- 1 chili pepper or scotch bonnet pepper (helps to deepen flavours)
- 1/4 cup liquid aminos
In a pot over high heat, add all the ingredients except the water. Let the heat sweat the ingredients for about 3 minutes to help bring out flavours. If adding in extra ingredients, add them now. Pour in all the water and stir. I use 12 cups, but you can use 10 cups if you want an even more concentrated broth.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for 1 hour.
- Remove from heat and allow to cool.
- Select the containers you'll be storing broth in (I like clear large glass jars). Place a layer of cheesecloth or a very thin towel on top and pour into jars to catch liquid and strain vegetables.
- At this point, I stir in equal amounts of liquid aminos (totaling 1/4 cup) in the jars. I end up with two jars, so I stir in 2 tablespoons into each. After sitting for a day the flavours will deepen even more.
- Store in fridge for up to a week. See notes for freezing instructions. Enjoy!
Your veggie broth can last a week in an airtight container in the fridge. The best way to keep your broth for longer is to freeze it. You can freeze it flat in zipped Tupperware containers, or poured into an ice cube tray.
This post was originally published on Jessica In The Kitchen.