Ever since we switched to a plant-based diet we use a ton of vegetable broth. It seems like we put it into everything. After all the prep work for meals is done, those veggie scraps are exactly what we need for a big batch of broth.
When I cook, I put all of my veggie scraps in a large freezer bag. All of those peels, stems, tops, seeds right into the bag. Make sure your veggies are clean first, and don’t use anything that is spoiling. And just remember your broth will taste like what you throw in there. I try to avoid anything bitter, like brussel sprouts. I put in some broccoli stalks, just not too many. One time I had to toss a whole batch of broth because it had way too much broccoli in it. I have thrown in eggplant before, and it was just fine. Potatoes and starchy veggies are okay, your broth will just be a little bit cloudy.
After your scraps are in the bag, toss it in the freezer. Keep adding to it until it is full and then it is ready to become broth. Usually I will wait until I have two bags and I will make a double batch in a 12 quart stockpot.
Right after Tyler got home from college, I asked him to grab the bag out the freezer that “looks like a bag of trash”. Bingo! Got the scrap bag on the first try.
Homemade vegetable broth will last about 4-6 days in the refrigerator. It will keep in the freezer for about 6 months. Since I can’t use a whole batch in a week, and I really don’t have enough freezer space for it, I condense it. Once the broth is cooked down, I store it in 1/2 cup containers in the freezer. A double batch will fill 10 containers.
When I use it in recipes, I usually will reconstitute it in a 1:1 ratio. If I use in place of oil for sauteing, I use it full strength.
When you’re ready to cook the broth, just put your veggie scraps in a large stockpot and fill with water. (I see some eggplant in there, and someone must have added an apple core.)
Add some fresh herbs. I add whatever I have growing in the garden or have on hand. This is your broth, use the flavors you like. This batch has oregano, basil, and sage in it.
Strain the broth and return it to the stockpot. Add salt and pepper. Cook until there is about 3 inches of broth is remaining in the pot. I just eye-ball this, and somehow it always comes out to the right amount. Cool and store.
Don’t discard all those leftover scraps! After they have cooled, add them to your compost bin. One of the great things about a plant-based diet is everything can be composted! (Isn’t that a lovely Texas Ware bowl? I can’t get enough of them!)