Now that cooking-all-the-time season is here, I thought I’d share a short tip here for making your own vegetable broth. It’s very simple and you can make a lot from it! Include the broth in soups, gravies, stews, and much more.
First, how to get the ingredients for this: we use scraps from other meals that have been frozen for this purpose. Get a plastic bag or container and fill it with onion skins, carrot and celery ends, leeks that are about to go bad, and whatever else you can scrounge up, keeping it frozen as you go along. This is the absolute best part of making your own stock – it can be free and no-waste if you like. Sometimes we add in fresh ingredients, like the ones pictured here that came in our CSA box.
The mixture can really be anything you want, and should be if you’re using frozen vegetable ends and pieces. You can certainly add or subtract ingredients here, but this is my favorite ratio for general use.
- 1 tbsp oil
- 2 stalks celery
- 1 large onion
- 2 leeks
- 3-4 carrots
- 2 large cloves garlic
- 1 small potato
- 1 cup cabbage
- 2 bay leaves
- about 10 allspice berries
- 10 black peppercorns
- a couple of sprigs each rosemary, thyme, sage
- 1-2 tsp salt, or to taste
- Loosely chop up all the ingredients into a dice, except for the spices and liquids.
- Heat a large soup pot with the oil in the bottom. Toss in the onions, leeks, and garlic and let them cook down until translucent, stirring every so often. (About 10 minutes.)
- Add in the rest of the ingredients and cover with water.
- Turn the heat down to low and cover the pot with a lid. Let cook on low for about 2-3 hours. (If you’d like to use a slow cooker instead of the stove top, do step two as normal, then put everything together in the slow cooker and cook for the same amount of time on medium heat.)
- Check the pot every so often to stir and add in more water if necessary. (Just keep the lid on and there shouldn’t be much, if any, water loss.)
- When it’s done, strain out all of the vegetables and spices and pour the broth into a sealable container for future use. When I really want to get a lot of liquid out of the vegetables, I’ll sometimes add in another pot-full of water and cook it all over again, but you will get a less-rich broth this way.
- Refrigerate your broth for up to a couple of weeks, or freeze into ice cube trays and store in a sealable bag or container in the freezer for a longer storage time. Good luck and enjoy!