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  • Writer's pictureRobin Ankerich

Formula for the Best Vegetable Broth

If you cook with vegetable, there is no reason to purchase store bought vegetable broth (unless you need a boat load). Homemade vegetable broth can be made from vegetable scraps or a few extra veggies form the crisper drawer. It is easy to make homemade vegetable broth. No recipe needed - just a formula and a bit of taste testing.

Making Broth with Veggie Scraps

Most vegetable scraps work in broth making. Root vegetables have more concentrated flavor over watery summer vegetables. Below I have listed a few good options to save for broth. When you know you want to make broth, start saving the scraps in a bowl in the fridge and after a day or two, you will have enough for broth.

- Peels and skins (like potato and root veggies)

- Vegetable tops (like carrots, leeks, etc.)

- Root vegetable greens

- Hardy leafy green stems (like kale and collards)

- Cores (Tomatoes, parsnips, etc.)

- Onion tops, bottoms, and skins (as long as there isn’t visible mold)

- Herb Stems

- Mushroom stems

- Etc.

Vegetables Past Their Prime

If you have extra vegetables that had sat in the refrigerator too long, they do not need to be trash or compost. Whimpy carrots and wilted greens can get a second chance flavoring broth.

No Scraps or Wilted Vegetables, No Problem

If you don’t have scraps or old vegetables in the crisper drawer, you can purchase a few vegetables to make up a great homemade broth. Use an onion or two (skin and all), two carrots plus the bunch of carrot tops (or a bunch of parsley), a large tomato, and a few stalks of celery.

Key to Dark Rich Colored Broth

My go-to ingredients for creating a dark richly colored broth are mushrooms/stems and onion skins. When we eat with our eyes, you want broth to richly colored. Onion skins help take a watery-looking broth to a dark brown hue. (Though depending on what vegetables, you add, to color may range from reddish, to slightly green, to a rich brown).

Other Flavorful Additions

Depending on what you intend to use the broth for, you can go ahead and add a few other flavorful power punches. These can take your broth from a neutral umami to Italian to Japanese. Whatever inspiration you have, you can adjust the add-ins.

Neutral Umami Additions:

- A few Bay Leaves

- Parsley

- Soy Sauce


- Tomato Paste

- Garlic

- Thyme and Oregano


- Soy Sauce

- Miso

- Kombu


Formula for the Best Vegetable Broth


Enough chopped vegetables to fill a stockpot

A few teaspoons of salt (to taste)

Enough water to cover the vegetables

Any additional flavorings


  1. Add all the ingredients to a stock pot, cover with a lid, and bring to a boil.

  2. Once boiling, reduce the temperature to a simmer. Cook for 30 minutes.

  3. At this point, strain the broth from the vegetables. (If it is too hot to deal with, allow to cool slightly for 30 minutes).

  4. To concentrate the flavor, return the broth (minus the vegetables) to the stove. Simmer until the liquid has reduced to your desired concentration. (I prefer to reduce the liquid by half.) At that point, taste the result and adjust the flavor as needed. Add more salt or soy sauce to increase salt levels, add a little nutritional yeast for more umami flavor, a little apple cider vinegar to balance the acidity, etc.


Storing Broth

Homemade broth will keep in the fridge for up to a week. If you desire longer storage, broth freezers well. If can be frozen in mason jars filled ¾ the way full or in ice cube trays for small easy to use portions.

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