Who even gets excited about vegetable broth, anyway? I do, I do that. Honestly, Homemade Vegetable Broth just feels like the perfect segue into the Thanksgiving season and beyond. Why? For ALL the reasons, basically. But mostly because of its:
- Natural, not skunky, taste (there’s a story behind that…keep reading)
- Perfect timing for soups and stews, just ahead of the holidays
- Adaptability in other recipes – Homemade Vegetable Broth really is a wonderful base ingredient
- Gluten-free, vegan, and paleo-friendly status
- Aromatic flavor (your house will smell amazing)
So while we might not normally fly in the rafters over what boils down to vegetables and water (#SeeWhatIDidTHere), this time I’m shouting my excitement from the rafters and the rooftops and anywhere else I can fly.
Because this recipe is just that life-changing.
It started about a year ago when a friend was experiencing health issues, and his doctor put him on a vegan diet. Whereas our family has been encouraged to eat meat for our own health-related reasons, my friend was prescribed almost the opposite for his own health-related reasons.
And I thought, how many other people are in this boat? How many other people have to make specific changes to their own diets in order to feel better? More than I often realize. Ever since then, I’ve wanted to create a baseline vegetable broth for my friend and others like him. A recipe that could be used in any number of soups and stews that would also taste good, play well with other ingredients, and be easy to prepare.
Homemade Vegetable Broth fits the bill.
In fact, I find it even easier to make than Homemade Bone Broth. Whereas with bone broth we slow cook chicken bones for about 24 hours, with Homemade Vegetable Broth, we throw everything in the stockpot for about an hour, maybe a little longer, and then call it done.
This is a far cry from when I first attempted to make vegetable broth over the summer. I honestly threw broccoli and cauliflower into a slower cooker, along with past-fresh cilantro, and cooked them for 24 hours.
I HIGHLY SUGGEST YOU DO NOT DO THIS.
It is as bad as it sounds. The flavor was so horrendous, I threw the entire batch out and felt horrible while I did it. The aroma of my decision lingered for days. Don’t be like Morgan that one time she slow-cooked roughage for 24 hours.
So then what vegetables do work in Homemade Vegetable Broth? Here are a few that I like:
- Onions (white, yellow, or red)
And what about salt, pepper, spices, and seasonings? I’m not gonna lie, Spiriteds. Other than thyme, I don’t add a thing to this recipe. Why? Because it’s designed to be a base in other recipes in which those ingredients will bring the flavor. Now, having said that, if you intend to use your Homemade Vegetable Broth right away, then you can definitely jazz up your batch with additional ingredients.
You can also jazz up (or down) your broth by adjusting the amount of water you use. The more water you add to your batch, the milder the flavor. Alternatively, you can add larger amounts of ingredients for a concentrated, stronger flavor. This recipe is neutral on purpose. While I think it tastes wonderful, I wouldn’t call it strong.
The $64,000 question seems to be, though, what should one do with the vegetables when finished? I did a little research and found that people have extremely strong opinions about this. Here are a few of the most common things people do with the vegetables when their broth is done cooking:
- Throw them away
- Compost them
- Eat them (one commenter on a site said she removes the veggies from her batch of broth, drizzles a little of her newly-made broth over them, and dives in for a quick meal)
Another commenter suggested working ahead of schedule by gathering vegetable scraps throughout the week and using those in the recipe. Other people said they use vegetables that aren’t at peak flavor anymore but aren’t so bad they need to be thrown out. Then they discard the veggies after the batch is done cooking.
Essentially, there are countless ways to prepare your Homemade Vegetable Broth. And even more ways to enjoy the final, incredibly delicious result. Happy slurping, Spiriteds!
Homemade Vegetable Broth
- Prep Time: 15 mins
- Cook Time: 1 hour
- Total Time: 1 hour 15 mins
- Yield: 12 cups 1x
- 16 cups water
- 2 onions, peeled and halved
- 3 cups baby carrots, chopped
- 6 celery stalks, sliced
- Handful of fresh sprigs or 1 tablespoon dried thyme
- 2–3 bay leaves
- Pinch of salt and pepper, optional
- 2 cloves garlic, optional
- Combine all ingredients in a stockpot and bring to a boil. Boil covered for approximately one hour.
- Remove from heat, let cool, and remove vegetables. Pour into glass jars (freezer-safe for long-term storage).
Reduce amount of water OR increase quantity of ingredients for a stronger flavor. To streamline your time, chop the vegetables while the water is heating up.