A Rich No-Waste Vegetable Stock Made With Vegetable Scraps

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Instead of throwing away your vegetable peels, skins and scraps, save them in a gallon-sized freezer bag and turn what you would have thrown in the garbage into a deliciously rich stock.

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My dear friend Amanda teaches composting, canning, gardening, and food preservation courses. During the pandemic, I took every one of them, and during a “How To Compost” course, she recommended freezing certain vegetable scraps instead of composting them to make stock. This method of making vegetable stock is just genius. I don’t know why I hadn’t thought of it sooner! So, I’m paying it forward in case you were unaware.

If you haven’t heard of freezing the stems of herbs, skins, and ends of onions and garlic, peels from carrots, scraps from celery, etc., do it. You’ll save yourself so much money, and your homemade stock will be better than what you can buy at the store. Keep a gallon-sized bag in your freezer, and whenever you have any vegetable scraps that you’d like to make stock with, put them in that bag. When you fill the bag at least halfway, you can make stock.

If you don’t have scraps on hand but need stock, you can purchase vegetables and use this same cooking method. The result will be a delicious homemade vegetable stock just the same. Just make sure you have 8 cups of vegetables.

iBuen provecho!

5 from 2 votes

A Rich No-Waste Vegetable Stock Made With Vegetable Scraps

Servings 8 cups
Cook Time 2 hrs
Maximum Cooking Time 12 hrs

Ingredients

For the broth:

Optional:

Instructions

How to freeze vegetable scraps:

  • Place the vegetable scraps in the freezer bag, remove all excess air, seal completely, and store in the freezer for up to 10 months.

To make stock:

  • In an 8 qt stockpot or pressure cooker, add the frozen vegetable scraps.
  • Measure the depth of the vegetables and double the depth by adding water, approximately 8 cups of water. If you're using a pressure cooker, do not fill more than ⅔. Overfilling can cause liquid to spew from the pressure release valve.
  • Add in the salt, whole black peppercorns, and optional bay leaves.

If using a stockpot:

  • Over high heat, bring to a boil and then cover and lower to a simmer over medium-low to low heat.
  • Let simmer for 4-12 hours; the longer, the better.
  • After at least 4 hours, taste the vegetable stock. You're looking for a rich vegetable flavor; if it tastes like watered-down tea, you need to cook it longer.
  • When your vegetable stock is ready, place a colander or a large fine-mesh strainer into another large pot or mixing bowl and pour out the contents from your stockpot into the strainer. Lift the strainer, containing all of the vegetable scraps, from the large pot or mixing bowl and hold it just above, filtering out the last drops of stock.
  • You should only have vegetable stock left in the pot or bowl. Set aside to cool. Use immediately, refrigerate for up to 5 days, or store in the freezer for no longer than 3 months.

If using a pressure cooker:

  • Secure pressure cooker lid and raise heat to high heat.
  • Once you hear the pressure cooker hissing, lower heat to low and leave to cook for 2-4 hours; the longer, the better.
  • After at least 2 hours, release all of the pressure from the pressure cooker until the float valve drops and you no longer hear steam escaping. Taste the vegetable stock. You're looking for a rich vegetable flavor; if it tastes like watered-down tea, you need to cook it longer.
  • When your vegetable stock is ready, place a colander or a large fine-mesh strainer into another large pot or mixing bowl and pour out the contents from your pressure cooker into the strainer. Lift the strainer, containing all of the vegetable scraps, from the large pot or mixing bowl and hold it just above, filtering out the last drops of stock.
  • You should only have vegetable stock left in the pot or bowl. Set aside to cool. Use immediately, refrigerate for up to 5 days, or store in the freezer for no longer than 3 months.

No-Waste:

  • Freeze any vegetables you have on hand that may expire before you're able to use them.

Pro Tip:

  • If using a stockpot, once you bring your stock to a boil, you can set your oven to 200 degrees, remove the lid and let it cook low and slow overnight.
    I do not recommend this method for households with small children or ovens without locking mechanisms.
  • Leave 1" of space if using glass Ball jars to store your stock in the freezer.

Notes

How to include your child(ren):  Take this opportunity to teach your child(ren) the importance of consuming what we grow or buy. Ask your children before serving them to think about how much they’re actually planning on consuming from their plate. We not only teach them about doing their part to save our planet by reducing our footprint (i.e., carbon emissions) but also critical thinking skills.
 
Course: Soup
Keyword: no-waste, pro-tip, stock, Vegetable

Did you make this recipe?

Please let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below, tag @domesticgourmet on Instagram, and hashtag #domesticgourmet.

Join the Conversation

  1. 5 stars
    I love this idea for making vegetable stock! Super easy and most important, no waste, 🙂 thank you for posting Cigi

  2. Amelia Todd says:

    5 stars
    This was my first go at making homemade stock and it turned out delicious. I am excited to turn it into soup. Not only did the stock turn out well, but my whole house smelled amazing all day. My next batch I will save more types of veggies and see how it impacts the flavor. I will definitely be repeating this recipe.

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