Did you ever get a suggestion from someone that seemed so simple and small yet it makes you so happy every time you use it? This homemade vegetable broth is that one thing for me. I should give a huge thanks to the Pampered Chef rep (no clue now who it was) who suggested this at a party years ago.
I used to never have vegetable broth on hand when I needed it. It was always the only ingredient I was missing. It was expensive and loaded with sodium, among other undesirable things. This homemade recipe is essentially free, easy to make, always in my freezer and not laden with sodium. Problem solved!
If you are wondering when to use veggie broth, it can be substituted in almost any recipe calling for chicken stock, as well as in soups or in lieu of water when cooking rice, quinoa or other grains. It’s a great way to add flavor up front so you can minimize (or eliminate) the use of butter and salt in the end.
The key to always having broth when you need it is to save your veggie scraps (yes, the part you don’t typically eat…see recipe below) on an on-going basis. Simply toss your veggie scraps into a gallon size ziploc and when that bag is full, you are ready to make broth!
- Frozen vegetable scraps (enough to fill a gallon size ziploc)
- Filtered water (enough to cover vegetables and fill stockpot 3/4 way full)
- Favorite seasonings
- Save the pieces of vegetables you don't eat (asparagus and broccoli stems, pepper stalks with seeds, garlic tips, onion peel, herb stems, celery base, carrot peel, etc.) and store them in a gallon size ziplock bag in the freezer. I throw in potatoes that are growing eyes and pieces of veggies that I would normally eat but might be going bad before we get to them. We strive for variety in the bag.
- When the bag is full, put the contents in a large stockpot and fill with water to the top of the veggies or 3/4 way full. Add bay leaf, sea salt, pepper, garlic, parsley and your other favorite spices.
- Simmer for 50-60 minutes. Let cool. Strain veggies out of broth as you pour cooled broth into containers to use or freeze for later.
- Save time in the kitchen and let your broth simmer while you are prepping other other meals.