I eat a lot of veggies, it’s kinda what us veg*ns do, and therefore I have a lot of vegetable scraps. I also like to use veggie broth when I cook, either because the recipe calls for it, or to add nutritional value to things like pasta, rice, and other grains. Sure, I love Rapunzel bouillon cubes as much as any other vegan, and yes, it’s convenient to buy a box of veggie broth in the store from time to time, but with as much broth as I use, the cost quickly adds up.
Solution? Make my own vegetable broth with all the vegetable scraps I accumulate when cooking or even from making salads.
Here’s what you do; every time you have any kind of vegetable scraps place them in a reseal able plastic bag and either store in your fridge or your freezer, depending on how long it will take you to collect about 4-6 cups of scraps, and when you plan on making your broth. About a week is the longest I would keep the scraps in the fridge, I put mine in the freezer.
You can pretty much save any veggie for the broth as long as it’s not rotten or moldy. Here are some suggestions:
Veggies You Should Save:
Onions, carrots, celery, garlic (I leave the peel on but do give the clove a good whack before adding to the pot), leeks, scallions,fennel, chard, green beans, pea pods, zucchini and other squash, bell peppers, winter squash skins, and herbs like dill, thyme, parsley, cilantro and basil.
Veggies You May Want to Save:
Potatoes; Potatoes seem like they would be a great thing for stocks, but they release starch and thicken the stock — not to mention they make it cloudy and look very unappetizing, even though it will taste fine. Potato peels, on the other hand, are just fine. Parsnips, eggplant, mushrooms, lettuce, asparagus, corn cobs~I don’t use these myself, and am not sure of the end result if you choose to use them.
Veggies You May Want to Skip:
Cabbage, Brussel sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, turnips, rutabagas, artichokes.
**You can use beet root scraps and onion skins but be aware that they will make your stock either a deep red or a deep brown so you may want to skip them.**
Making the Stock
- Place roughly 4-6 cups of scraps in an 8 quart stock pot. Add 2-3 bay leaves and a few peppercorns (I used a melange because I had it and was feeling fancy, but black is fine).
- Cover it all with cold water then bring it to a boil. Lower the heat to medium and simmer uncovered for about an hour. Any more than an hour and the flavor will begin to deteriorate.
- Strain vegetables using a fine mesh strainer or a colander and giving them a press to make sure you get all the broth. Let cool then pour into clean containers or freezer bags. Let cool completely in the fridge and then freeze, or store for up to five days in the fridge.
For the broth in the photos I used carrots, celery, onion (yellow, white and red, skins and all!), garlic (see note above), parsley, basil and rosemary stems.