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Make Great Veggie Broth

Great Vegetable Broth


It’s easy, healthy, and delicious

Homemade vegetable broth is easy to make and so much healthier and more flavorful than anything that you can buy in a supermarket. It’s versatile, with uses that go far beyond making vegetable soup. Best of all, making homemade vegetable stock is as easy as throwing some vegetables and water in a pot.

Keep reading for detailed instructions for making your own homemade, vegetarian vegetable broth.


Are you looking for a recipe for homemade vegetable broth? Well, here it is: Throw a bunch of vegetables (scraps, skins, whatever) in a big pot with some water, salt, and pepper, and let it simmer for a while. Then strain it.You just made homemade vegetable broth.

It is so simple, useful, and economical that there really is no excuse for using a canned broth that tastes like little more than salt water, which is essentially what it is. Homemade vegetable stock can be used in soups, sauces, and lots of other dishes you may not have thought of. If you’re dieting or just trying to eat better, you can use vegetable broth to add fat-free flavor and nutrition to almost any savory dish.

Keep reading for details on how to make it, what to do with it, and why you should bother.

No, really, what is the recipe for vegetable broth?

Still not sure? Here it is, step by step.
  1. Use a very large pot, preferably a stockpot.
  2. Put in just about any vegetables at all. You don’t need to chop them unless they won’t fit in the pot. In most cases, you don’t even have to peel them, because the skins are loaded with flavor and vitamins, and texture will not be an issue when the finished product is strained.
  3. Take some garlic cloves, smack them with the side of a large knife to break them up a bit, and throw them in the pot, peel and all.
  4. Add salt, pepper, and any fresh or dried herbs you choose. I usually use a bunch of fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley.
  5. Pour in one gallon of water.
  6. Heat to boiling, then lower the heat and simmer for about an hour, stirring occasionally.
  7. Remove the pot from the heat and allow the broth to cool a little.
  8. Pour or ladle through a fine strainer, and you’re done!

This makes enough broth for two pots of soup, but you can freeze it in smaller portions for other uses

Choose your veggies

fresh carrots
You really can use any vegetables at all to make a great vegetable stock. I never make one without onions, celery, carrots, and mushrooms, but beyond that you can change it up to suit your needs and use up whatever you have on hand. Homemade vegetable broth is a great way to salvage any fresh vegetables in your refrigerator or pantry that are past their prime, and you also may want to vary your choices based on what you plan to do with a particular batch of broth.
  • Onions – Any kind, skins included. If they look dirty, remove the outermost layer of skin or wipe with a damp paper towel. Halve or quarter larger onions.
  • Celery – Include the leafy green tops. Cut the stalks just enough to fit them in the pot.
  • Carrots – No need to peel them. Just scrub them and throw them in, or use the ready-to-eat kind and dump in the whole bag.
  • Mushrooms – These are really good for making a richer, darker broth. I always use at least white button mushrooms in my vegetable broth, and I use portobellos when I want a darker broth, like for French onion soup.
  • Bell peppers
  • Parsnips
  • Spinach
  • Leeks – Be sure to cut them up and clean them, because they usually have a lot of dirt between the layers.
  • Tomato – A particularly good addition if you’ll be using the broth for something like minestrone soup.
  • Fennel bulb – Halved or quartered, with greens.
  • Turnips – Cut in large pieces.
  • Zucchini
  • Just about any vegetable scraps – Potato peel, broccoli and cauliflower stems, green bean ends.

For extra flavor, try adding fresh herbs or wine.

 It’s not just for soup…
There are lots of uses for vegetable stock besides making soup. Here are a few.
  • Add some vegetable broth to a roux for a flavorful white sauce.
  • Cook rice with broth instead of water for added flavor, and you can cut back on high-calorie gravy or butter.
  • Add broth to mashed potatoes in place of some or all of the milk for a diet-friendly alternative with extra nutritional value.
  • Freeze broth in an ice cube tray and grab a cube or two for thinning sauces.
  • Sauté mushrooms in a few tablespoons of butter or olive oil. Stir a few tablespoons of flour into some broth and boil it for a minute with the mushrooms for a quick mushroom sauce for pasta or grilled meat.

More uses for your homemade vegetable broth

Just about any meatless soup recipe can be made vegetarian and lower calorie by replacing beef or chicken stock with vegetable stock. Try out your own homemade broth with some of the recipes on these lenses.

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