The other day I was talking to a friend who told me about a unique way to make vegetable broth. What I loved about this process is that you can save all parts of the veggies that you buy and receive at pickup. Even little root hairs and outer skin layers of onions. So instead of tossing your veggie scraps, keep them and freeze them!
Start by throwing most of the vegetable scraps you have left over into a plastic freezer bag. 2 – 3 cups worth of frozen scraps is ideal to add with 8 cups of water, so you can adjust your amount accordingly. To capture that “brothy” flavor, the only other necessity for this recipe is the addition of chopped carrots, celery, and onions (spring onions, shallots, or bulbs work fine). Virtually any vegetable scrap will do, yet stay away from cruciferous veggies – meaning no cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, nor Brussels sprouts, which can leave a bitter flavor in your broth. Make sure your scraps are clean and washed – you don’t want any dirt in your broth – and avoid significantly moldy carrots or onions. Some good examples of scraps include onion skin, sage stem, shallot skin, carrot peels, green onion ends, the leaves of carrots, celery, and radishes, and mushroom stems. The only difference between broth and stock is that stock is not seasoned, so to make vegetable stock using this recipe, skip adding salt and pepper at the end. Take advantage of this quick and easy way to save your scraps and avoid buying broth!
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 large onions, chopped
- 3 ribs celery, chopped
- 3 carrots, chopped
- 8 cups water
- Frozen vegetable scraps (2-3 cups is a good amount)
- 2 bay leaves
- A few sprigs of parsley and thyme
- Salt and Pepper to taste (omit these if you’re making stock)
Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven or stockpot over medium heat. Add the garlic, onions, celery, and carrots. Cook until softened, about 5 minutes, stirring often. Add the water, frozen vegetable scraps, bay leaves, parsley, and thyme. Reduce heat to low and simmer, partially covered, for 45 minutes. Pour the broth through a fine mesh strainer into a large heat-proof bowl or pot; discard solids. Once the broth has cooled, transfer it to airtight plastic containers or freezer bags and store it in the freezer. (You can freeze it in 2-cup portions to not have to thaw all the broth every time you use it.)