Lazy cooks, take note. Vegetable scrap broth is the easiest way to make a delicious, nutritious broth for sipping or soup making. Whenever you are chopping vegetables for a soup, stew, or whatever, save the scraps in a ziplock plastic bag (or any airtight container) and place in your freezer. When the bag is full, it’s time to make your broth. It’s really that easy.
What to save for your broth:
- onion leaves, tops and skins (leeks & green onions too): onion skins can be used in broth as they will make it turn a nice golden color. If you prefer a lighter color broth you can leave them out.
- carrot and parsnip tops and peels
- celery ends and leaves
- shriveled tomatoes
- mushroom stems or dried mushrooms
- herb stems, like parsley
- potato skins
- bell pepper tops
- fennel ends
- corn cobs
Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, and kale stems can give the broth an off flavor. Beet tops and skins will color the broth red.
For extra flavor you can also add the following: Parmesan or Romano hard cheese rinds, peppercorns, dried or fresh herbs, a bay leaf, sun-dried tomatoes, nutritional yeast, meat bones. (Although you can save all your bones separately to make a nourishing bone broth.)
(Don’t use rotten or moldy veggies in your broth.)
Making your broth:
- Dump the veggies out of the bag and into a stock pot. Add enough water to cover plus an inch or two. Add cheese rinds if you have them, 1/2 teaspoon peppercorns, herbs if you have them, 1 bay leaf, and sea salt.
- Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 45 minutes. Strain into a bowl using a sieve lined with cheesecloth. The cheesecloth isn’t absolutely necessary but the broth will be clearer if you use it. Press the cooked scraps with a wooden spoon to extract as much liquid as possible. Compost the scraps.
- Cool and pour into jars. When pouring the broth into the jar(s), leave the last little bit of broth in the bowl as there may be dirt or grit from the scraps. Use broth within a few days or freeze. You can use your broth to make soup, to cook beans and grains, to make risotto, or just for sipping.