In the Winter, I love to make savory soups in a crock pot (like my Veggie Lentil Soup). While it’s easier to buy vegetable stock at the grocery store, it’s way higher in sodium than just making it yourself. Once you make the vegetable stock, the vegetables used in the stock have to be thrown out or composted because all the nutrients have been boiled from them. It can be expensive to buy a lot of fresh vegetables to boil down into stock, so I started saving my vegetable scraps to make my own vegetable stock.
Vegetable Stock from Veggie Scraps
Let’s start with a word of warning with vegetables scraps to not use:
- The papery skin of the onion
- Leaves from carrots or celery
- Not too much tomatoes or asparagus because they can be overpowering
Basic Vegetable Stock Ingredients: The Big 4
My vegetable stock always has onions, carrots, celery, and garlic. This is always a great base for vegetable stock. Jennifer’s Kitchen has a great list of veggies to use or not use in Vegetable stock. The great thing about Vegetable stock is that there’s no exact recipe. You want to make sure you have a 1:1 ratio of water to vegetables to make a good stock, but you can vary the ingredients. I’ve never made the same stock twice.
Every time I peel an onion, I save the first outer layer and put in the container. For carrots, I always save the outer peel of the carrots that I peel for salads or soups. I usually have to buy celery for stock, because I hate eating raw celery.
Then, I buy garlic in bulk, so there’s always some in my kitchen available to throw into a pot.
After the big 4, other Veggies that I’ve included:
- Peel of acorn squash, but not the flesh
- Mushrooms (great in recipes that call for a beef broth)- I usually just buy a package of diced mushrooms and put them in the stock.
Once your container is full (or multiple containers are filled), put the frozen vegetable scraps into your stockpot with an equal amount of water (again, you want a 1:1 ratio).
Great herbs and spices to include
- 1-2 Basel leafs
- Soy Sauce (adds great flavor- add 1 TBSP per gallon for the last 20 minutes)
If you use any leftover vegetables that are in the fridge, roughly chop them and add them to the pot. Add water. Bring the water to a boil and then simmer for an hour.
It’s done! With a slotted spoon, remove all the vegetables and throw them out or compost. If I make a large pot of stock, I will freeze what I won’t use within the week and thaw as needed. I clean my tupperware containers, and they start collecting new vegetable scraps.
Do you make vegetable stock? Have other suggestions? Leave them in the comments and don’t forget to pin!