Homemade Vegetable Stock - For the best flavor, make your own stock!

Cooking 101: Homemade Vegetable Broth

Do you wish you could take a basic cooking class?  Do you find yourself buying lots of pre-made ingredients, but suspect your food would taste even better from scratch?  Periodically, Champagne Tastes will be featuring ‘Cooking 101’ recipes.  These cooking staples will take your food to the next level, and will help you make more ingredients from scratch.

Easy Homemade Vegetable Broth: Less Salt, More Flavor, Incredibly Simple

One basic recipe I find myself using over and over again is vegetable broth.  Yes, yes.. I know. Broth comes in a box.  It’s cheap.  It’s so so easy to just pop the lid off the box, and pour that broth into your soup (or whatever you’re making).  Well guess what.. pre-made broth also has tons of salt.  I don’t mind using it periodically, and typically in late spring or summer I just go ahead and use pre-made broth.  Once it starts getting cold outside, I start making soup almost daily, and I don’t really want to eat that much salt on a regular basis.  (Really… I eat So. Much. Soup.)

Another reason I love homemade vegetable broth is that I don’t always have pre-made broth in my pantry! And isn’t that sad?? You decide you want soup.. you have all the ingredients.. except the broth.  Sadness.  Well, be sad no more!! This homemade broth is delicious, takes about 30 minutes, and you can easily customize the ingredients.

vegetable broth

Vegetable Broth

My favorite thing about homemade broth is that it’s just so tasty!  My second favorite thing is that I use vegetable scraps to make it, and that makes me feel good about my life.  Like I’ve really got things together.  I’m reusing, recycling… and whatever the 3rd thing you’re supposed to do is.  I keep a ‘broth scraps’ bag in my freezer.  Yes that’s right- I have a weird bag full of onion peels, herb stems, carrot peels, mushroom stalks etc sitting underneath my ice cube tray.  And you can have one too!  (All the cool kids are doing it).  Save the scraps!

Some recipes I’ve seen call for all scraps, but personally, I’ve never gotten my broth to taste fantastic when I use ONLY scraps.  Instead, I use my scraps and mix in a few whole veggies.  I think the key is to have a variety.  You may also find that certain vegetables have stronger flavors than others (personally- I don’t like bell pepper scraps in my broth, but that’s just me!).  Also, although I go through more onions than any other vegetable, and would really love to use all my scraps at once in broth, too many onions makes for some very bitter broth.  Restrain yourself.

When making broth, either use it immediately, refrigerate it and use it within a few days, or freeze it.  It’s also a good idea to freeze it in different size containers- that way you don’t have to defrost an entire container if you only need 1 cup.

Go ahead- make broth.  And then make soup.

Need recipes to use your homemade broth? Try these:

Homemade Vegetable Stock - For the best flavor, make your own stock!
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Homemade Vegetable Broth

Yields 1 quart

Total Time 45 minutes
Author Champagne Tastes

Ingredients

  • *Vegetables may be substituted for equal quantity vegetable scraps. I've found a mixture of whole vegetables and scraps makes delicious broth.
  • **Vegetables can be subbed for other veggies that you have on hand
  • 1 TB olive oil
  • 1 leek or 1 onion, roughly chopped (not peeled)
  • 2 carrots, chopped (not peeled)
  • 2 stalks celery, roughly sliced
  • 1 TB minced garlic
  • 1 TB tomato paste
  • 3-4 tsp salt
  • 6 whole peppercorns
  • 4 cloves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2-3 sprigs thyme (fresh or dried)
  • 1 sprig rosemary (fresh or dried)
  • 2 splashes white wine (optional)

Instructions

  1. Heat oil in soup pan on medium heat, and add leeks or onions, carrots, celery, and garlic. Cook about 5 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and about 1 quart water.

  2. Cover, bring to a boil, and then lower heat to medium. Simmer for about 20 minutes.

  3. Ladle out all solid ingredients, or place a mesh strainer over another bowl or pot and pour broth through strainer to remove solid ingredients. Throw away the cooked veggies and keep the broth.

  4. Use broth immediately, refrigerate and use within a few days, or freeze.

Recipe adapted from: The French Market Cookbook

5 thoughts on “Cooking 101: Homemade Vegetable Broth

  1. WillCookForFriends says:

    Homemade broth is the absolute best. I do keep some store-bought on hand in my pantry because I don’t always have enough homemade, but during the winter months I try to keep my freezer stocked. I always buy low-sodium broth when I’m getting it from the store, but it is still packed with a ton of salt! I much prefer making homemade broth, and then when I use it in a recipe I have complete control over what it tastes like. (Oh, and I keep a scrap bag in my freezer, too! I’m not vegetarian or vegan, so I also add chicken bones and such to the bag, too — it’s a great way to save stuff up until you have enough for a big batch of stock!)

    • champagne-tastes says:

      Yay for the scrap bag! I eat fish too and I have a bag with lobster shells and shrimp shells.. I haven’t figured out what to use seafood broth in yet, but it’s on my list!

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