Recipe: Scrappy Veggie Broth

Prep Time: 5-10 minutes
Cook Time: 20-30 minutes

This quick and easy broth is a great way to use vegetable scraps that would otherwise be thrown out. Keep a container in the freezer, and put vegetable scraps there throughout the week. You can even use veggies that have gone slightly soft or wilted. Additionally, when used in place of water for cooking other food, this broth increases flavor and nutritional value.


  • Assorted vegetable scraps
    • Best: Carrot, Celery, Onion, Leeks, Lettuces (and other mild greens), Herbs
    • Acceptable: Parsnips, Potato, Sweet potato, Tomato, Slightly bitter greens (such as chard or beet greens), zucchini, mushrooms, turmeric or ginger skin, etc.
  • 1-3 bay leaves
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed, with skin
  • 1/2- 1 Tbsp black peppercorns
  • Water to Cover


  1. It is best to NOT use cruciferous vegetables, as they give an unpleasant flavor. These include broccoli, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and cabbage. Some people don’t mind green cabbage or kale.
  2. Bell peppers are commonly used in stocks in some areas; however, the core and stem, with all the seeds, are not used as they only add bitterness.
  3. Since everyone’s taste varies, feel free to experiment with which vegetables and herbs you use. Pretty much any root, stem, or leaf can be used – some just have strong flavors!


Put all scraps, bay, garlic, and pepper in a large pot on the stove. Cover with water. Heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes. Strain.

This broth can be seasoned then consumed by itself. However, it is even better used in place of water for other cooking needs. Use it for rice, couscous, or pilaf. Cook noodles in it. Use it as a base for a soup. Vegetable broth is mild enough that it can be used with pretty much anything else!

Recipe provided by Suzanne Loughry Nellis, Nutrition Coach
Suzanne Loughry Nellis – Nutrition Coach