Basics

Vegetable broth from scraps

This is technically a recipe for broth rather than stock. The difference between the two is that stock is unseasoned, and I do like to season it a little in the pan.

A couple of weeks ago, I found myself thinking about all the vegetables I end up throwing away after making any sort of stock or broth, and wondered if it would be any good if instead, I made it from the same vegetables but the parts I’d usually throw away: the peel and the ends. After some googling, to my delight, I found that lots of people have been making vegetable broth from scraps that is just as tasty as if the whole vegetables were used! This was great news, as after an afternoon cooking, I often have a big pile of various peel that I put in the bin.

Below is my version. You might need to save up veg bits for a few days, but as long as it’s stored in an airtight container in the fridge, it should be fine – you can keep adding to it throughout the week. It’s very flexible so don’t worry too much about what amounts of what veg. I like to make the broth when I have about a bowl full of peel.

Good vegetable bits for this broth: potato peel, carrot peel, mushrooms, spring onion & leek ends, celery ends, garlic ends, ginger skin, onion (any bit, although the crispy brown skin will make the stock quite dark). Try to avoid dark green veg like spinach, cabbage as they can add bitterness.

Most recently, I used:

  • Peel of 2-3 large potatoes
  • Peel of 5 carrots
  • Garlic, ginger and chilli ends
  • About 1.5 pints of water
  • 2-3 garlic cloves
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Feel free to add any other lonely veg that may need using up (carrot, celery, etc). I happened to only have these veg to hand, and it turned out well!

Method

  • Heat olive oil in a large pan.
  • Roughly chop onion and garlic and add to the pan. Fry on a medium heat for around 5 minutes, or until the onions soften and start to brown.
  • Add all of the scraps, oregano and thyme, and continue to fry for another few minutes, stirring regularly.
  • Add the water and bay leaf, and bring to the boil.
  • Once boiling, part-cover, turn the heat down and let the broth simmer for around 30-45 minutes.
  • Strain through fine mesh or a clean tea towel.

You can store this in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week, but also freezes wonderfully if you have no immediate use for the broth. Brilliant in soups, gravy, risotto, all sorts.

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