If your weather has been anything like Chicago’s, believe me, I know you’re in need of a warm-up. On days like these, I can’t think of anything better than hot soup.
Every homemade soup requires a good broth…and I’m not talking about that boxed stuff from the supermarket (though store-bought broth is fine when in a pinch). I’m talking about money-saving, waste-reducing, aroma-filled, flavor-packed, homemade veggie broth.
Never tried making your own homemade broth? Too freezing cold to go to the store? You’re in luck because this has got to be one of the easiest and most flexible recipes ever. Actually, there isn’t even really a recipe…more like a list of steps. The possibilities for ingredient combinations are practically endless; all you need is a collection of veggie scraps that you would usually compost or toss in the trash (peels, ends, stalks, etc), some herbs and spices (fresh or dried), and some water.
The broth is best when allowed to simmer for a while but it only requires a few minutes of actual work. I suggest throwing everything in a stockpot, grabbing a big mug of hot tea, curling up in a blanket, and trying to keep warm until it’s ready.
- 4 cups filtered water
- 2-4 cups vegetable "scraps"
- 1-2 tbsp herbs + spices
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled
- ½ tsp salt
- Fill a large stockpot with vegetable scraps and then fill the pot with water.
- Add vegetable scraps (onions, mushrooms, leeks, and carrot peels all work well)
- Add herbs and spices (rosemary, thyme, basil, onion powder, and/or oregano)
- Add garlic + salt
- Bring to a boil and then simmer for about an hour (or all day in a slow cooker).
- Strain scraps through a colander or cheesecloth and discard. Add additional salt if you feel it needs it.
- Use the broth immediately or store in the fridge or freezer. (Freeze what won’t be used within a week.)
Have you ever made your own veggie stock? What are your favorite vegetables to include?