How To: Scrap Broth

I’m going to be real honest, and say I initially stumbled upon scrap broth when we literally could not afford to buy broth.

2012 seems like a lifetime ago, and not that long ago at the same time. Times were tough all over the country. My husband and I were expecting our first child, and were barely living paycheck-to-paycheck. We had to penny pinch where we could, and food can be expensive.

Enter: scrap broth.

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I guarantee this is the easiest and least expensive broth you’ll ever make. What makes me so  confident in that statement is that 1) it doesn’t cost a single penny and 2) there’s no tricky marrow or bones needed.

The method here is simple: collect scraps from your everyday vegetables (bell peppers, onions, carrots, celery, garlic, zucchini, mushrooms, leek tops, tomatoes and/or their skins, potato skins, and herbs), freeze them until you fill one or two gallon bags, and make them into broth.

You don’t have to limit yourself on the vegetable part, because the more variety you have the richer your broth flavor will be. Plus, it’s all the parts you normally wouldn’t use such as the peels, skins, stumps, or whathaveyou. The only vegetables you should leave out are the gassy veggies  like cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, and greens. Everything else is fair game! I’ve also been known to use leftover skins from roasted garlic or the toasted, smoky skin from a roasted bell pepper.

You could even get fancy and add different flavors to your broth. For an Asian flare, add some ginger, garlic, and scallions. For a Mexican twist (excellent for tortilla soup!) add jalapeno ribs, cilantro leftovers, and tomatoes.

With all the fresh produce Summer provides, I love to collect all summer long  and make my broth at the end of the season (right before soup season). Usually, I’ll have more than enough broth to get me through Winter.

TIP* Really, really…do NOT worry yourself too much with cleaning the scraps. There is so much flavor in the skins, and honestly the “grit” of the vegetables. Plus, you’re going to strain out the seeds, grit, and whatever else at the end anyway. Don’t trouble yourself with it. When you get scraps, just toss them into your bag without a second thought.

Vegetable Scrap Broth (THM FP)

  • 1-2 gallon bags filled with vegetable scraps (cleared of any tags or stickers, of course. Each gallon bag will yield about 3-4 quarts of stock, depending on how large your pot is.)
  • water
  • gluten free soy sauce or Braggs liquid aminos
  • black peppercorns, optional

Place your still frozen scraps into a large stock pot. Fill to the top with water, 1-2 Tsp of black peppercorns if using, cover, and bring to a boil.

When it comes to a boil, reduce down to a simmer with the lid on for at least an hour and up to 3 hours. The longer you’re able to let it go, the more flavor will develop. When you’re done simmering, leave it to stand for at least an hour.

Strain out the larger pieces of vegetables using a spider or large slotted spoon. Stir in 1/4 c GF soy sauce or liquid aminos. You can skip this, and keep it salt free, if you like. I like being able to control the level of salt in my recipes, so sometimes I leave it salt free and that’s completely up to you.

Take your quart containers, place a fine strainer over top, and begin spooning (I use a 1 cup measure or coffee cup) the broth through the strainer, into the container.

Place lids on, finish cooling to room temperature, and freeze.

Repeat the process for however many bags of scraps you have. My 4 bags yielded me about 10 quarts of stock, with one being spilled by my toddler. ^_^

It’s great to use in soups, stews, chili, sauces, ANYTHING.

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