This easy recipe starts with roasting fresh vegetables and turns them into a delicious, flavorful vegan broth. Plus-- tips for using vegetable scraps!
Soup weather is here!
Can we all do a collective happy dance for soup? And if there's one thing that makes soup even better-- it's really exceptionally delicious broth.
Homemade stock and broth makes your soup and kicks it up a notch. My favorite broths (and stocks) to make at home are homemade seafood stock and of course, homemade vegetable broth.
I've been making my own vegetable broth for awhile now, but recently I decided that my broth could be better.
And so-- I took my older vegetable broth recipe, kicked it up a notch, and made it better.
And that, friends, makes your soup better!
This homemade vegetable broth uses roasted vegetables, and then simmers them with herbs and water until the water transforms into deeeeelicious broth.
Does Homemade Vegetable Broth Taste Better than Store-bought?
YES. No question about it.
That doesn't mean that I never use store-bought broth. I do-- it's quick, requires zero effort, and I almost always have it on hand.
BUT-- homemade broth really does taste better, and it's HEALTHIER since you can control the ingredients and sodium levels.
What Vegetables Do I Need for Homemade Vegetable Broth?
I recommend that you start with onion, carrot, and celery.
Once you've got those three, feel free to play around with other veggies. My favorite to add in are root vegetables like fennel.
Can I Use Vegetable Scraps?
I used to diligently put all of my vegetable scraps in a freezer bag, and periodically add everything from the bag into the broth.
Over time, I realized that I wasn't always getting the best combination of flavors.
Now I'm a little pickier, and usually use the broth bag in my freezer as a way to preserve extra fresh herbs for my next batch of broth.
I don't recommend saving onion skins, garlic skins, or the inner flesh and seeds from bell peppers, because they make the broth bitter.
Why Roast the Veggies for Homemade Vegetable Broth?
A lot of recipes will tell you to start making the broth by cooking the vegetables in a stock pot before adding water.
The idea is that cooking the vegetables first will allow the extra flavors to come out of the veggies.
The problem is that a stock pot doesn't always give you enough space. Your veggies are crowded in a stock pot, so while SOME of the veggies develop delicious, extra flavors from cooking in oil, some of the veggies will simply steam.
And we all know that steamed vegetables aren't quite as flavorful as roasted or seared veggies.
Roasting the veggies first solves that problem.
Each vegetable has space to breathe on the baking sheet.
As the vegetables roast in the oven, each and every veggie will develop those sweet, caramelized flavors that we're after.
You see how each veggie looks delicious on the baking tray below?
Once you've got a tray of roasted vegetables, you can add them to a large pot with water (along with whatever other herbs and seasonings you want to use) and make the broth.
Finally, strain out the cooked veggies, and voila! You've got broth!
What Can I Do with the Vegetables Leftover from the Broth?
Whatever you want!
If you want to add them to soup (along with your shiny new broth) you can!
If you want to chow down on some veggies right then and there, you can do that too.
However, keep in mind that these veggies will have a little less flavor than before, because the flavor is in the broth now.
I usually compost the vegetables from my broth in our tumbling composter.
Can I Make This Ahead of Time?
Yes! Check the recipe card for freezer directions.
Homemade Vegetable Broth
Broth Base: (Don't Skip These)
- 1 onion, thickly sliced
- 2 carrots, roughly chopped
- 2 stalks celery, roughly diced, leaves removed + reserved
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon salt, divided
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 cup herbs, loosely packed (fresh or frozen)
- 12 cups water
- ½ cup wine (white or red), optional
Broth Extras: (Use What You Have on Hand or Love)
- 4 garlic cloves
- root vegetables such as fennel or turnips
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- Preheat oven to 400ºF.
- Lay onions, carrots, and celery on a baking sheet in a single layer. Broth extras: If using garlic or extra root vegetables, add those to the baking sheet too.
- Drizzle veggies with olive oil and 1 teaspoon of salt. Roast about 30 minutes, until veggies are cooked through.
- Add vegetables to a large soup pot, along with the rest of the salt and all remaining ingredients (including the reserved celery leaves).Tip: If using tomato paste, add it now.
- Bring the mixture to a boil, and simmer for about 20 minutes. Strain out any solids (vegetables and herbs) from the broth.
- Use broth right away, refrigerate and use within 3-4 days, or freeze broth in an airtight container for up to 6 months.