Homemade Vegetable Broth can be used to make your favorite soup or to warm you up on a cold winter day. I never thought I’d choose a steaming mug of veggie broth over coffee or tea, but the more I make that choice, the more I love the feeling of being not only warmed up from the inside out, but also deeply nourished.
I also love homemade vegetable broth for how it works as an exit strategy for all the veggies and greens that have been forgotten about it in my fridge or need to be used RIGHT NOW! With little time commitment, I can prep the produce for this broth, then throw it all in the crockpot and let the flavor magic happen.
This recipe is designed to work as a template, where you can mix and match your winter vegetables and greens, depending on what you have on hand or what’s in the CSA distribution line or available in our farm stand on a given week. For instance, you can use almost any hearty winter veggie (cabbage, carrots, leeks, parsnips, radishes of any kind, rutabaga, etc) and any hearty green (arugula, komatsuna, mustard greens, radish tops, spinach, turnip tops, etc) in this recipe. Don’t have celeriac? Use celery stalks, or vice versa. Don’t have scallions? Use baby leeks instead. This recipe isn’t picky.
Here are some tips to make your best winter vegetable broth:
- Use high quality ingredients. This broth tastes delicious because the veggies taste delicious!
- Your vegetables and greens choices affect flavor. For instance, if you use spicy greens, your broth won’t turn out spicy, but it will taste slighty different than if you use sweet spinach.
- Use a garlic peeler for quick and easy garlic peeling. This recipe calls for crushed garlic. Not sure what “crushing garlic” means? Check out my post on how to peel, mince, crush, and slice garlic.
- Let’s say you have just enough time and energy to clean out your fridge, but not enough to make the veggie broth. Or maybe you don’t have quite enough materials to make this recipe. No problem! Throw your greens and veggies into a freezer bag and freeze to keep them preserved until you’re ready to make veggie broth.
- If fresh herbs like thyme and parsley are available, throw those in your broth the last hour of cooking for added flavor.
Coming soon: soup recipes where you can use this veggie broth! For now, try this broth in your favorite soup recipe and let me know what you think in the comments!
Homemade Vegetable Broth for Winter
- cutting board
- chef's knife
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 large onion, chopped 8 oz
- 3 medium carrots, chopped 8 oz
- 1 celeriac bulb, peeled and chopped or 2 celery stalks, chopped
- 12 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
- 1 tbsp kosher salt
- 1 bunch scallions or baby leeks, trimmed 3 oz
- 1-2 pounds winter veggies (cabbage, carrots, leeks, parsnips, radishes, rutabaga, etc) quarter if large
- 4 packed cups hearty winter greens (mustard greens, radish tops, spinach, turnip tops, etc) 4-6 oz
- 12 cups water, divided
- 1 tsp whole black peppercorns
- 3 bay leaves
- 4 sprigs fresh thyme if available
- 4 sprigs fresh parsley if available
- Heat oil in stock pot over medium heat until sizzling. Add onions, carrots, celeriac, garlic, and salt. Saute until vegetables are lightly browned and fragrant, 10-15 minutes. Stir in 1 cup water, scraping up any brown bits as you stir. Transfer sauted veggies to a crockpot.
- Add remaining 11 cups of water, scallions, winter veggies, winter greens, peppercorns, and bay leaves. Cover and cook 8-10 hours on low. If using fresh herbs, add for last hour of cooking.
- Remove from heat and remove lid. Allow to cool slightly. Strain broth into a large container, then refrigerate. If freezing, refrigerate broth before freezing.