Tuesday Tutorial- Vegetable Broth with Shelly from Vegetarian 'Ventures

Hi All! 

I’m so excited today, because instead of me writing for you, you get the fabulously talented Shelly from Vegetarian ‘Ventures is here instead! She’s going to do a much needed Tuesday Tutorial on veggie broth, and next week you can see what I made with it! So here we go. 

Heyyya! My name is Shelly and I usually blog over at Vegetarian ‘Ventures. I’m filling in for Claire today and am going to teach you my favorite kitchen tutorial.

Today I’d like to talk about my favorite winter kitchen secret: homemade vegetable broth! Excuse me while I nerd out a little but this really is one of my favorite kitchen topics. I know, I know - broth?! But really - it’s one of the easiest and most practical ingredients in the kitchen.  How many times have you bought a can of broth only to throw half of it away? Or let those cartons sit in your fridge until they start to expand so much they are going to explode? Well, I’m here to tell you that it doesn’t have to be like that. You can make your own broth by the gallons and freeze it to hold you over all winter. Homemade veggie broth lasts for two months in the freezer! No more letting those cartons explode after a week and a half!

Not sold yet on why this is the best winter kitchen trick? Here is another reason why it’s great: you don’t have to spend any extra money on ingredients (except if you factor in a small part of your water bill). I just freeze leftover veggie scraps (ends of carrots, celery after it’s gone limp, kale stems, slightly wilted cilantro, etc) until I’ve filled up a freezer bag full. Once the bag is crammed with vegetables, herbs, stems, and spices, I know it’s time to whip up some broth.

Use whatever kind of vegetables you have on hand – there are no wrong veggies here! But don’t limit yourself to just vegetables. Here are some non-vegetable ingredients that also add depth to your broth:

- Herbs (or the sprigs from herbs once you’ve used the leaves for other recipes)

- Whole peppercorn

- Garlic

- Tomato paste 

- Bay leaves

Okay, so let’s make some broth! There is no exact science to this and no real wrong / right way. I love the way no two batches of broth turn out the same. In the summer, my vegetable scraps reflect a light broth with red hues from tomato chunks. In the winter, my broths tend to be dark brown with loads of root vegetables and leftover rosemary. As I keep stating, use what you have on hand and experiment. It’s going to turn out delicious no matter what.

Homemade Vegetable Broth

1 gallon-size freezer bag full of vegetable scraps (stems, ends, peels, etc)

1 gallon of water (or enough to cover the vegetable scraps and fill up your pan)


1 pound of carrots, chopped

1 pound of celery, chopped

2 large parsnip, chopped

2 large onion, chopped

2 Tablespoons whole black peppercorn

1 gallon of water (or enough to cover the vegetable scraps and fill up your pan)

And I usually also throw in (just because I can):

Any lingering vegetables in my fridge that won’t be used otherwise

A bay leaf

An assortment of herbs from my garden

A splash of soy sauce (OPTIONAL, to give it a salty tang at the very end)

Place all vegetables in a large stockpot and cover with water. Heat over high until boiling. Lower heat to a simmer and let simmer for one hour. Remove from heat and strain the broth into a large saucepan to let cool. Add a splash of soy sauce if you’d like (completely optional).

Okay, cool - I made vegetable broth! Now what?

Well, let’s talk about freezing. You could freeze it in a block but it sure is a hassle when trying to break off only a cup full. I recommend you freeze it in ice cube trays and then transfer them to zip log bags once frozen. The amount will completely depend on how full you make the trays, but 6 ice cubes = a half cup for me. If you want to figure out an equation for you, fill a measuring cup with 1/2 cup of vegetable broth and pour it into ice trays. Easy. Done. Now you can pull exactly the right amount out next time you are looking to make that certain soup recipe.

You may think ‘well, I don’t use that much broth… there is no way I’ll use up a gallon of it in 2 months.” Oh, you’d be surprised! Especially once you have it on hand and taste how delicious it is. Not only can you incorporate it into warming soups and stews but you can also use it in risotto, pot pies, and even slurp it by itself for an afternoon boost. And now is a great time to make some broth to have on hand for the holidays coming up!

Still need some more inspiration? Check out these delicious recipes from Claire and I that use plenty of broth:

Barley Risotto

Cauliflower Soup with mint Almond Pesto

Chickpea Tomato Minestrone 

French Onion Soup

Thanks so much for reading my rant about vegetable broth! I hope I’ve inspired you to try it out for yourself. Feel free to come visit me over at Vegetarian ‘Ventures if you’d like to be friends!