How to Make Great Vegetable Broth
It’s easy, healthy, and delicious
Homemade vegetable broth is easy to make and so much healthier and more flavorful than anything that you can buy in a supermarket. It’s versatile, with uses that go far beyond making vegetable soup. Best of all, making homemade vegetable stock is as easy as throwing some vegetables and water in a pot.
Keep reading for detailed instructions for making your own homemade, vegetarian vegetable broth.
Vegetable broth recipe
Keep reading for details on how to make it, what to do with it, and why you should bother.
No, really, what is the recipe for vegetable broth?
- Use a very large pot, preferably a stockpot.
- Put in just about any vegetables at all. You don’t need to chop them unless they won’t fit in the pot. In most cases, you don’t even have to peel them, because the skins are loaded with flavor and vitamins, and texture will not be an issue when the finished product is strained.
- Take some garlic cloves, smack them with the side of a large knife to break them up a bit, and throw them in the pot, peel and all.
- Add salt, pepper, and any fresh or dried herbs you choose. I usually use a bunch of fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley.
- Pour in one gallon of water.
- Heat to boiling, then lower the heat and simmer for about an hour, stirring occasionally.
- Remove the pot from the heat and allow the broth to cool a little.
- Pour or ladle through a fine strainer, and you’re done!
This makes enough broth for two pots of soup, but you can freeze it in smaller portions for other uses
Choose your veggies
- Onions – Any kind, skins included. If they look dirty, remove the outermost layer of skin or wipe with a damp paper towel. Halve or quarter larger onions.
- Celery – Include the leafy green tops. Cut the stalks just enough to fit them in the pot.
- Carrots – No need to peel them. Just scrub them and throw them in, or use the ready-to-eat kind and dump in the whole bag.
- Mushrooms – These are really good for making a richer, darker broth. I always use at least white button mushrooms in my vegetable broth, and I use portobellos when I want a darker broth, like for French onion soup.
- Bell peppers
- Leeks – Be sure to cut them up and clean them, because they usually have a lot of dirt between the layers.
- Tomato – A particularly good addition if you’ll be using the broth for something like minestrone soup.
- Fennel bulb – Halved or quartered, with greens.
- Turnips – Cut in large pieces.
- Just about any vegetable scraps – Potato peel, broccoli and cauliflower stems, green bean ends.
For extra flavor, try adding fresh herbs or wine.
- Add some vegetable broth to a roux for a flavorful white sauce.
- Cook rice with broth instead of water for added flavor, and you can cut back on high-calorie gravy or butter.
- Add broth to mashed potatoes in place of some or all of the milk for a diet-friendly alternative with extra nutritional value.
- Freeze broth in an ice cube tray and grab a cube or two for thinning sauces.
- Sauté mushrooms in a few tablespoons of butter or olive oil. Stir a few tablespoons of flour into some broth and boil it for a minute with the mushrooms for a quick mushroom sauce for pasta or grilled meat.