Homemade Vegetable Broth Image of vegetable scraps in pot Cooking with scraps

Homemade Vegetable Broth – Cooking With Scraps

Do you ever peel potatoes or carrots and think about how much for is being thrown away? When you cut off the ends of celery, do you wonder if there is a way to use it instead of just throwing it away?

There is! Save your vegetable scraps and make homemade vegetable broth.

Save Your Scraps

What do you save? Anything you usually throw out is a likely candidate. Peels from potatoes and carrots; tops from carrots, celery, beets and radishes (although many of those leaves can be used other ways as well), onion skin, leftover cooked vegetables you might normally throw out.

Watch out for anything with a strong flavor. You may want to leave out tomato, asparagus, and cabbage, or use in small amounts.

Vegetable scraps in plastic bag

I put everything in a container and store in the freezer, adding to it until it is full. 

Making the Broth

When the container is full, I pull it out and put everything in a stock pot. Turn the heat on low to medium-low and put the lid on. Occasionally stir the vegetable scraps and break them apart as they thaw.

Vegetable scraps in pot


When broken apart, cover with water and turn up the heat. Bring to boil then reduce heat. Let simmer 45 minutes. Turn off heat, cover and cool.

Strain broth through a large strainer into a bowl, catching large scraps, then strain through a finer strainer to get smaller bits.

Strained vegetable broth in white bowl


Put in the refrigerator if planning to use in the next day or two, or freeze for later use. I freeze mine in ice cube trays then store the cubes in a freezer container. 

Vegetable broth in ice cube tray

Using the Broth

Remove cubes from freezer and thaw. (Tip – measure how much liquid each ice cube section holds. Then you’ll know how many cubes you need for each cup the recipe calls for)

Vegetable broth cubes in freezer bag

Use the broth in place of chicken or beef broth for soups, stews, and gravies. We’ve used it to make chicken noodle soup (half chicken broth and half vegetable broth) and for mushroom gravy. My husband is rather picky but he likes the flavor the vegetable broth adds to both of these.

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