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Scraps of vegetables in a large pot.

Vegetable Broth From Scraps

5 from 1 vote
This mildly-flavored vegetable broth from scraps is a great way to use every single part of vegetables before discarding them. Use the broth in soups or to cook grains.
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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 8 cups
Author: Eloïse Jennes

Equipment

  • Vegetable peeler
  • Stockpot
  • Strainer

Ingredients 

  • 4 cups (800 g) vegetable scraps see notes
  • 8 cups (2 L) water
  • 1 (1 ) bay leaf see notes
  • ½ teaspoon (½ teaspoon) salt

Instructions

  • Collect your vegetable scraps while cooking. If you don't have 4 cups of scraps right away, put the scraps you have in a freezer bag. Seal it and place it in your freezer. The next time you're cooking, add new scraps to the freezer bag. Repeat until you have about 4 cups.
  • Add the frozen vegetable scraps to a stockpot. Optionally, sauté them in a little oil for several minutes. Cover with water. Add in the bay leaf, salt and other spices if using.
  • Cover with a lid and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes.
  • Strain the broth through a fine-mesh sieve. Transfer it to air-tight freezer-safe containers, zip bag or large silicone ice-cube trays (read tips in post above).

Notes

  1. Vegetable scraps to use: peels, tips, (rooty) ends and trims from celery, carrots, leeks, fennels, tomatoes and mushrooms. You can also use whole vegetables that are a little wilted or not looking as fresh anymore. However, they should never be rotten or mold.
  2. Other scraps to use: skins, tips and ends from onions and shallots, Trims and skins from garlic cloves. The stems and dry leaves from parsley, thyme and basil. The peel and fibrous parts of ginger.
  3. Vegetables to avoid: broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, brussels sprouts, asparagus, turnips, peppers, potatoes and other vegetables that can make your broth bitter or overly sweet.
  4. Spices to add: peppercorns, a bay leaf, juniper berries, fennel seeds or mustard seeds.
  5. Storage tips: you can store the broth for up to 5 days in the fridge or for 4 to 6 months in the freezer.
Important notes
This broth won't blow your mind and is not a replacement for qualitative vegetable broth. You don't want to use it in bouillon-based dishes (e.g., noodle soup, ramen) or to bind sauces. Use it to cook grains such as pasta and rice and make them a little more flavorful. We like to add to homemade vegetable soups that are already pretty flavorful and don't require super qualitative broth.
The flavor is very much impacted by the scraps you saved. A broth made from onion, garlic, carrot and celery scraps in well-balanced proportions will be very tasty. However, an overabundance of certain veggies versus others can make the soup taste weird and sometimes even bitter. Make sure to avoid certain veggies mentioned above.
 
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