Homemade Vegetable Broth Made From Scraps

Make your own vegetable broth out of vegetable peels and scraps and you’ll save money, control the ingredients that go into your broth, eat tastier broth and reduce food waste.

Reader Contribution by Anne Marie Bonneau
article image
by Unsplash/Bluebird Provisions

I love to make all kinds of soup but I dislike buying broth for several reasons:

So, I make my own broths.

My vegetable broth recipe cuts down on waste on two fronts–the packaging and the ingredients. Throughout the week, as I prep my vegetables, I throw very little into my compost bucket. Instead, I save all of these little bits for making broth. Because I chop more onions, carrots and celery than anything else, my scraps contain a lot of these mirepoix elements. They make tasty broth.

I also include the tops of celery–but not the green leafy carrot tops as they may lend a bitter flavor to my broth. I do add members of the brassica family in small amounts, such as cauliflower cores, broccoli that has seen better days or a bit of cabbage. However, too many of these can make your broth taste a bit bitter. Garlic cloves that have begun to dry out, the ends of green beans, tomato cores, corn cobs, pumpkin pulp, squash innards and leek tops all make excellent additions also, as do excess herbs.

I collect these bits in glass jars and containers and freeze them. As I collect more scraps, they go into the jars. Once I have amassed at least a few jars’ worth, I make broth using the recipe below. (Go here for more information on freezing food in glass jars.)

I use my homemade broth to make soup, stew, dal, pot pies, risotto and so on. It tastes delicious and costs essentially nothing to make.


  • Vegetable scraps
  • Water


1. Throw the scraps into a large pot and add water. I don’t completely cover the scraps with water because after you cook them for a few minutes, they shrink down and become immersed in liquid.

2. Simmer the scraps for about 20 minutes to half an hour. I prefer to make this unsalted and add the salt later to whatever I decide to cook with my broth. Because the liquid cooks down, if you add salt now, the broth may become too salty and it becomes more concentrated.

3. Strain the scraps. I set a metal colander inside a large metal bowl and dump everything into the colander. Lift out the colander and reserve the scraps for the compost pile.

4. Store the broth in jars in the refrigerator for about a week. This also freezes well. Either pour into a wide-mouth jar to freeze–leaving at least an inch of headspace to allow for expansion–or freeze in ice cube trays and transfer the ice cubes to jars for easy retrieval.

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