How to make vegetable broth (stock or bouillon) with vegetable scraps

January 19, 2023

Did you know you can make soup from your vegetable scraps before composting them? If you want to save money and waste then here’s how to make vegetable broth, stock or bouillon with vegetable scraps.

Before composting your discarded vegetable scraps, whether you’re eating those vegetables fresh or freezing them for later, you can collect them in the freezer to make stock. 

Freezing the vegetable scraps will give you up to 6 months to collect them without them spoiling so that you can make a flavoursome broth, stock or bouillon.

Making broth, stock or bouillon from vegetable scraps is not only amazing for preventing food waste on something that is so often overlooked but it will also save you money as it’s basically free as you bought/grew the vegetables for something else. 

What with the current recession* and the mind-blowing inflation on groceries it is so incredibly helpful to get the most out of the food you purchase so that you can stress a little less when it comes to planning meals and working with that food budget that seems to be getting tighter with every passing month. You’re not alone and on that note you might want to take a look at my blog posts 5 delicious ways to use up roast dinner leftovers and 3 homemade and low-waste travel snacks which both have money-saving ideas that prevent food waste for you.

*referring to the 2022/23 post-pandemic recession.

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This broth can then be used to make sauces, gravy and soups like ramen or tomato and stews like my Mum’s stew and dumplings recipe made using roast dinner leftovers.

So if this blog post can help you save money, prevent unnecessary food waste, is super easy and quick and it makes something you can eat, what are you waiting for? Let’s learn how to make vegetable broth (stock or bouillon) with vegetable scraps.

Just before we do, I’m going to do that super annoying thing that all recipe blog posts do when they need to help the post perform better and I’ll be answering some common questions about making vegetable broth, stock and bouillon from vegetable scraps. If you don’t have any questions then just scroll down to the end to find out what you need and the recipe for how to make it.

What is broth, stock and bouillon?

Broth, stock and bouillon are all different names for the same thing which is a nutrient-rich, flavoured liquid made from either vegetables, meat or fish that have been simmered in water before being discarded.

Broth, stock and bouillon are sold either in their liquid form, a concentrated jelly, a powder, granules, or a compressed cube. The jellies, powders, granules and cubes need boiling hot water to dilute them.

Typically store bought broth, stock and bouillon contains more salt though you can purchase a reduced salt recipe.

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What’s the difference between broth, stock or bouillon?

Broth, stock and bouillon are all the same thing. Bouillon is the French name for broth and broth is most commonly used in north America whilst the name stock is used in the UK.

What can you make with vegetable broth, stock or bouillon?

Vegetable broth, stock or bouillon can be used to make sauces, gravy and as a base for any kind of soup or stew.

What are vegetable scraps?

By vegetable scraps I’m referring to any of the bits that you would usually discard from the vegetable when you’re preparing something to eat. The scraps alone will provide enough flavour and it will give them a purpose before you compost them. 

What vegetables can be used to make broth, stock or bouillon?

If you’re uncertain about what scraps would make a good vegetable broth, stock or bouillon here are some suggestions that will create a rounded flavour: 

  • Ends of onions or the first layer that you would usually peel off
  • Carrot peel and the ends you would usually cut off
  • Ends of celery sticks
  • Broccoli stems
  • Bulb ends of leeks
  • Stems of fresh herbs
  • Potato skins
  • Cauliflower leaves
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How long can vegetable scraps be kept in the freezer?

You can store your vegetable scraps in the freezer for up to 6 months before making stock.

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What you need to make broth, stock or bouillon

To make vegetable broth, stock or bouillon you will need: 

  • Freezer bag
  • Vegetable scraps
  • Water
  • Large saucepan with lid
  • Large jar, bottle or stand-up reusable freezer bag

How to make vegetable scraps into a broth, stock or bouillon

1. Add your frozen vegetable scraps to a large saucepan 

How to make vegetable broth, stock or bouillon with vegetable scraps Recipe blog post sustainable living low-waste save money Postcards from Hawaii travel lifestyle blog

2. Fill the saucepan with water until all the scraps float

How to make vegetable broth, stock or bouillon with vegetable scraps Recipe blog post sustainable living low-waste save money Postcards from Hawaii travel lifestyle blog

3. Bring the water to the boil then simmer for about 1 hour

4. Strain the liquid broth from the vegetable scraps

How to make vegetable broth, stock or bouillon with vegetable scraps Recipe blog post sustainable living low-waste save money Postcards from Hawaii travel lifestyle blog

5. If you aren’t cooking with the broth straight away then you can allow it to cool and store it in the fridge for 3-4 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

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How to make vegetable broth, stock or bouillon with vegetable scraps Recipe blog post sustainable living low-waste save money Postcards from Hawaii travel lifestyle blog

6. Once the vegetable scraps have cooled down you can compost them.

For extra flavour and nutrients I will eat broccoli the day before I make broth from my frozen vegetable scraps and save the water from the boiled broccoli to add to the scraps on the stove top. I will reserve the water, let it cool, pour it into a container and store it in the fridge until the next day.

Ingredients

  • 1500g (about 2 large freezer bags) vegetable scraps
  • 7 Cups 1.6ml water
  • Large saucepan with lid
  • Large jar, bottle or stand-up reusable freezer bag

Recipe

  1. Add your frozen vegetable scraps to a large saucepan
  2. Fill the saucepan with water until all the scraps float
  3. Bring the water to the boil then simmer for about 1 hour
  4. Strain the liquid broth from the vegetable scraps
  5. If you aren’t cooking with the broth straight away then you can allow it to cool and store it in the fridge for 3-4 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
  6. Once the vegetable scraps have cooled down you can compost them.
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So next time you’re preparing something to eat make sure you collect those vegetables scraps in a freezer bag to make a free vegetable broth, stock or bouillon so you can save money and waste.

Make a free account on Postcards from Hawaii and add this blog post to your favourites to save this vegetable broth recipe for future reference.

If you use this recipe to make your own vegetable broth, stock or bouillon with vegetable scraps I’d love to hear how it went in the comments below.

Do more on & for the planet, Gabriella 

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