It’s Sunday and something I usually do on Sunday is make a slow cooker vegetable broth. We usually make soup for supper at least once a week, as I suggested in Five things you could make for supper every week so this recipe really goes a long way for us. It’s incredibly easy to make and economical, compared to buying vegetable broth so it’s really a win-win. Plus, you probably have better things to do on a Sunday than to hover over the stove-top so, toss everything in the slow cooker and carry on with your day.
I talked about the importance of planning ahead in Five things to consider when meal planning and you may need to do a bit of planning ahead for this recipe, but don’t worry, it takes minimal effort.
During the week prep
Save your vegetable scraps in a large bag or container in the fridge. Celery leaves and ends, carrot peels, mushroom stems. I like to add a lot of mushroom stems because they give the broth a nice, rich flavor. You’ll want to avoid cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and kale, as they tend to make the broth bitter. You’ll also need onions and garlic for the stock, but I can do without the smell of those festering in my fridge all week, so I usually just go fresh with those, right before making the broth. If you can’t get to making the broth within the week, toss the bag of vegetables in the freezer, and make it when you have time.
Cooking day prep
Scope out your fridge for any vegetables that may be on their last days. The rest of your mushrooms, leftover celery and carrot sticks, fresh herbs like parsley and thyme.
Dump all the vegetables in your slow cooker, cover with water, add spices and walk away.
Let it cook all day or overnight. (This is really flexible…4-6 hours on high or 6-8 hours on low.) When you’re ready, let it cool, strain and freeze in jars or containers.
I usually freeze them in 2-3 cup portions and get about 8 cups of stock!
It will cost you about $2.50 for 3 1/2 cups of vegetable broth at the store. You just got 8 cups of broth for next to nothing, because you used vegetables that most likely would have ended up in your compost, or even worse, in the garbage.
You can also add a teaspoon or two of chicken or beef bouillon concentrate depending on your recipe and now you always have chicken or beef broth too! One bottle of concentrate is about $4.50 for one cup. If you were to add just one teaspoon to one cup of homemade broth, you’d have enough concentrate in one bottle for 50 cups!
Think of a favorite recipe of yours that could use this broth and try it this week!
Simple Slow Cooker Vegetable Broth
Simple and economical broth that uses leftover vegetables.
- carrot peels and scraps
- celery leaves and scraps
- mushroom stems
- 1 bunch parsley (or other herbs you have)
- 1 large onion (skins on and quartered)
- 1 head garlic (skins on and halved)
- 1 tsp black peppercorns
- 2 tsp salt
- 2 bay leaves
- 8-10 cups water
Put all vegetables and spices in a slow cooker.
Cover with water.
Simmer for 4-6 hours.
Let cool, strain and freeze in jars or containers in desired portions.