Soups are some of the easiest, most budget friendly meals we can include in our recipe rotation every week. Plus, they’re filling, often nutritious, and strangely magical in that they have this amazing capability of warming us from the inside out on cold winter days.
And when you’re sick, as I have been for what seems like a month now, soup can be the perfect thing to both soothe and nourish.
I’ve mentioned before that I often make my own vegetable broth from collecting and freezing veggie scraps. And the resulting deliciousness tastes and smells worlds better than the stuff you buy pre-made in a carton. #justmyopinion
So, today, I thought I’d share my go-to recipe for homemade veggie broth so you can experience those same benefits and warm fuzzy feelings!
And, yes, this recipe is adapted from one I originally found through Pinterest. You can find that recipe here. I’ve simplified and tweaked it to work for me, and I’ve found it worth writing about. So, that’s gotta count for something.
As you’ll see below, this recipe calls for a gallon sized bag of fresh or frozen veggie scraps. Here’s what I do. As I prep veggies throughout the week, I reserve the scraps in a gallon sized zip-top bag in my freezer. Be sure to rinse those bad boys REALLY well prior to freezing, especially if you’re using onion peels or the end of a celery stalk, as those tend to trap dirt. And you don’t want all that dirt released once you submerge your veggie scraps in water. Or maybe you do. I mean, I’m earthy, but I’m not that earthy.
Once the bag is full, I feel its call in the depths of my soul. Beckoning me. Whispering sweet nothings. Calling, “Use me. Uuusssse me!” OK, OK…maybe it’s a little less spiritual and/or creepy than just described, but it is nonetheless hard to resist…especially when it carries with it the promise of homemade soup.
- 1 gallon sized bag of fresh or frozen vegetable scraps (be sure to rinse extremely well prior to use). These may include any of the following:
- Onion peels (yes, including the flaky, papery parts)
- Celery ends (the root end as well as the leafy tops)
- Carrot skins and ends
- Garlic skins (yes, the flaky, papery parts) and ends
- Leftover herb stems (parsley, cilantro, basil, etc.)
- Whatever the heck floats your boat, to be honest
- Enough water to cover the amount of scraps you are using
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 whole bay leaves
- Whatever herbs you so choose. I personally like some combination of the following:
- ¼ cup nutritional yeast (Flavor! But also not necessary.)
- ¼ cup tomato paste (Flavor! Color! Depth! Richness! But not necessary.)
- Add all vegetable scraps to a large pot. I use a pot/strainer combination, because it makes it super easy to remove the cooked veggie scraps once I’m finished. However, any large pot will do.
- Fill the pot with water until the veggie scraps are just submerged.
- Add remaining ingredients. Stir well to combine.
- Heat on high until boiling. Immediately reduce heat to low and simmer for an hour, stirring occasionally.
- Let cool completely before attempting to strain or transfer broth.
- If you’re using a pot/strainer combo like me, simply lift the strainer slowly from the pot and hold above the pot to allow the liquid to drain out. Once all liquid has drained, discard the vegetable scraps. If you’re using a standard pot, you’ll need a large strainer and a second large bot to catch the liquid. Set the strainer into the second large pot. Carefully pour the contents of the first pot (liquid and veggie scraps) into the strainer until all the scraps have been caught in the strainer and all the liquid has strained into the second pot. Discard the veggie scraps.
- What you’ll be left with is that delicious vegetable broth we talked about earlier, which you can use just as you’d use any store-bought variety. Store it any way you like. I typically use glass mason jars, but I’ve also used assorted Pyrex containers with lids.
- Store in the fridge for up to a week, or the freezer for up to a month.
And that’s it, folks! The simplest, most delicious vegetable broth you’ll ever make. Let me know if you try it and what you think!