Vegetable Broth
Delicious. Easy. Free.

These are the vegetables currently cooking in my stock pot right now for our homemade Vegetable Broth. Many of them you can easily identify: corn cobs, carrot tops, broccoli stems, onion skins (red, white, yellow). There is also celery, cauliflower stems and bits, lettuce cores and leaves.  Just about any part of the vegetable that we don't use while preparing our meals, go into a bag in the freezer and then we simmer it, strain and either use it immediately or freeze it for later use.  And cost: it's free.  It is the discard material that most people throw away.  

During the month, as you are preparing your vegetables and salads, instead of throwing away the inedible parts, stems, peels, leaves and skins, place them in an airtight container and freeze them until you have the time to make a stock pot.  My sister, Babetta, also may add an extra onion or potato or two if she does not feel that she will have enough hearty flavor to make a deep tasting broth. We have even thrown in dabs of leftover vegetables that we have already been cooked - even a bit of leftover vegan chili.  Each time the taste is a bit different, but always deep and rich - nothing like the bland expensive "boxed" vegetable broth that you purchase. 

So, what are we waiting for?

Let's Get Cooking!

To begin, take all your vegetable discards and place them in a large pot.  Fill the pot with filtered water and bring to a boil.  Once it begins to boil turn the heat down to simmer for three to five hours.  

How you decide to flavor it is up to you.  We are partial to Basil so often we put a handful of fresh into the pot - in fact I am going to go do that right now!  Done.  While I was at it I did add a tablespoon of Herbs de Provence (a favorite seasoning of ours) and 1 tsp of Thyme.  Some of this particular batch will be used in tomorrow night's Cioppino (another favorite) so these soft Italian flavors will augment the rich soup.  You may prefer other herbs/spices or non at all.  Sometimes it is best to keep it plain so that you can add the seasonings as you use the broth in various dishes.  

After the cooking time is up, carefully strain the vegetables out and place the broth in storage containers.  We think glass is the better choice but we are still using the plastic quart sized.  Depending on how many vegetables you began with you should have between 4 - 8 quarts of delicious, rich Vegetable Broth.  And remember, it was made with your discards, so it's free!

from our Healthy Heart to Yours~

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