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Vegetable broth is one grocery store item you need never buy again and the best part is, it can be made from scraps that would otherwise go in your green waste bin or trash.

I keep a large bag in my freezer marked “broth veggies” where I toss in the scraps of washed vegetable cuttings and peelings such as corn husks or celery (I only use the peelings if the vegetable is organic).  Even corn cobs after you’ve cut the kernels off can be used.  When the bag is full, I make broth, usually while making dinner when I have to stand near the stove for a while anyway.

The beauty of stock is that it can be made from almost any vegetable, though I’ve learned some make for tastier broths than others.  I used to keep broccoli stems for my vegetable stock, but the taste can be bitter, so now I keep them for juicing (broccoli, like most vegetables, gets sweeter when juiced).  And only use cabbage if you really like the taste of cabbage soup!  The colour of the broth will also vary greatly depending on what veggies you choose (the canned reddish broth in the top photo had red onion in it; the yellow broth below had parsnips and corn cobs).

Yummiest broth veggies
corn (including cobs and husks)

Veggies to avoid or use sparingly

If your veggie scrap bag isn’t full but you want to make broth, you can add any of the yummy veggies you have on hand like an onion and some carrots; just chop them up and you’re good to go.

Other ingredients:
olive oil
bay leaf
sea salt
black pepper
optional: a few tablespoons of soy sauce
optional: fresh herbs

Heat a large stockpot on the stove.  Add just enough olive oil to cover the bottom. When the oil is warm, toss in the veggies and stir to coat.  Season with salt, pepper, soy sauce if using and any fresh herbs you want.  Add enough filtered water to fill the pot; naturally, the more water you add the less intense the broth flavour.  Toss in a bay leaf and stir.  Bring to a boil, then simmer, pot covered, on medium low for at least half an hour.  Turn off the heat, but keep covered for another hour or so to concentrate the flavours.

Strain the veggies through a large sieve and pour into a glass jars and store in the fridge for about a week.  If you’re not going to use the broth in the next few days, pour the broth into a pitcher then pour into ice cube trays and freeze for up to a few months. When frozen, pop into ziploc bags. The frozen broth cubes are particularly handy since you can just take out as many cubes you need at a time.  I love using this broth to cook rice, millet and quinoa!

Homemade vegetable broth can be a huge saver of time, money, food and packaging waste!  I am submitting this post to Healthy Vegan Fridays and Wellness Weekends blog hops.