Recipe first, tidbits second. Enjoy!
Homemade Vegetable Stock Made With Veggie Scraps
Vegetable stock is a great way to get the most out of your vegetables and infuse a variety of dishes from soups to rice with extra flavor. Long considered a restorative food, vegetable stock contains a variety of nutrients with very few calories and is a healthy addition to any diet.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 60 minutes
- Total Time: 70 minutes
- Yield: 12 cups 1x
- Category: Soup
- Method: Stove
- Cuisine: American
- 1 gallon bag vegetable scraps
- 12 1/2 cups water
- Place vegetable scraps in large dutch oven or stock pot. Cover with water and simmer for 1 hour over low heat.
- Remove mixture from heat and strain out liquid using a fine mesh colander.
- Store liquid in airtight container for up to 4 days in refrigerator or up to 6 months in freezer until ready to use.
- Don’t have a fine mesh colander? – Me either so instead I use a coffee filter. Keep scrolling for a picture of my setup.
- What vegetables should I use? – Whatever you’ve got! Lots of people avoid leafy greens and cruciferous or starchy vegetables because they can make your stock cloudy or bitter. My philosophy is that so long as a vegetable scrap isn’t toxic (think tomato stems and leaves), into the stock pot it goes!
- What about salt? – Add salt if you like but I prefer to hold off until I’m making the final dish.
Keywords: Vegetable Stock, Vegetable Broth, Veggie Stock, Veggie Broth
This post may contain affiliate sales links. Please see our Disclosures page for details.
This Recipe’s Roots
Under no circumstances would I take credit for inventing vegetable stock or even putting an original spin on this recipe. Vegetable stock has been around since basically the dawn of cooking. The first mention of vegetable broth is believed to be a 5th century Roman cookbook but even the Bible contains numerous mentions of broth.
Wondering what the difference between stock and broth is? Technically stock is made using animal bones while broth is made using meat or vegetables meaning there’s not really such a thing as vegetable stock. However in modern cooking the two terms have become synonymous and you’ll frequently find vegetable “stock” for sale at the grocery store.
But now you know how easy homemade vegetable stock is to make you don’t need to worry about buying it at the store anymore.
Taking a Closer Look
Making vegetable stock all starts with collecting vegetable scraps. Chopping an onion for spaghetti sauce? Great, save the skins – they add beautiful color and extra nutrients no stocks. Dicing a cucumber for tonight’s salad? Keep the peels. Each time you cook collect the vegetable scraps and put them in a Ziploc bag in the fridge. When the bag is full it’s time to make stock. If you cook from scratch regularly you’ll probably have enough scraps to make vegetable stock weekly.
My go to stock pot is a 7 quart Tramontina enameled cast iron dutch oven. This pot is a workhorse and I use it for everything. There’s something about its solidness that I find incredibly reassuring in the kitchen. And it retains heat like a boss which is perfect for an even simmer.
I prefer to simmer my stock with the lid off so the aroma (and much needed humidity in the winter time) fills the kitchen. You may lose some liquid volume doing this but there will still be plenty by the end. After about an hour the vegetables will have infused all their color and flavor into the water. Hello vegetable stock!
When making vegetable stock I like to double strain it. First through a wide holed colander like this steamer pan then through a finer filter. For the longest time I didn’t have a fine mesh strainer so I used a single pour over coffee dripper and coffee filter – works like a charm!
The second straining really isn’t necessary but my heart sings when I see a final product that looks like this. Look at the color and clarity on this homemade vegetable stock – now just imagine how it tastes! Store bought doesn’t even come to close to competing. Not to mention vegetable stock is essentially free to make since all you’re using is water and vegetable scraps destined for the compost pile.
What I Like Most About This Recipe
What I like most is transforming would be waste into something delicious and versatile. In a time when food is becoming more scarce, it’s going to be more important than ever to get the most out of our food. Making vegetable stock is like true kitchen magic and though it’s only simmering vegetable scraps in some water, it’s real from scratch cooking.
The smell isn’t half bad either and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t sometimes just pour some vegetable broth in a cup and drink it like juice.
For maybe 5 minutes of “work” collecting vegetable scraps and simmering them in a pot of water, you’ll be rewarded with a healthy addition to numerous dishes. One of my favorite things to do with vegetable stock aside from adding it to soups is to cook rice with it.
The real catch about making homemade vegetable stock is that you have to be making other homemade food to get scraps. There aren’t any carrot or potato peels or celery tops to be had from a pre-made chicken pot pie from the store. Given the health and budgetary benefits of from scratch cooking (or what we should really just call cooking), those who can cook, should cook.
And we should certainly be enjoying our own delicious, beautiful vegetable stock.