Vegetable Broth


  • 2 to 3 cups vegetable peelings (see options)

  • 4 cloves garlic, unpeeled

  • 2 ribs celery with leaves

  • 1 medium onion, with skin

  • 1 medium carrot, roughly chopped

  • 1 medium parsnip

  • 1 handful fresh or dried parsley sprigs, see options

  • 1 handful fresh or dried thyme sprigs, see options

  • 1 fresh or dried bay leaf

  • 1 whole nutmeg seed, crushed

  • 1 teaspoon whole allspice berries

  • 1 ⁄ 2 teaspoon whole cloves


Combine all of the ingredients in the pot of a slow cooker. Add 10 cups cold water, or enough to cover the vegetables by at least 1 inch.

Cover, turn heat to medium, and cook for a minimum of 4 hours or overnight.

Cool broth and strain liquid into a large bowl or jug, discarding solids.


Pour broth into 1- or 2-cup jars with lids or airtight containers. Refrigerate for up to 3 days or label and freeze for up to 6 months (be sure to leave lots of headspace in the jars or freezer containers).


The great advantage of making this broth is that you can
use any vegetable and every part of the vegetable, so save everything, from cores to peels. I keep a zip-top plastic bag in the freezer and add vegetable scraps as I cook. When the bag is full, I know that it is time to make vegetable broth.

If you make juice, save the expelled vegetables and freeze for use in the broth.

Practically any herb or spice can be added to flavor the broth. If you don’t have fresh or dried sprigs, use 3 tablespoons dried leaves or 2 tablespoons dried ground thyme or parsley.

One healing herb that I always add to my homemade broth
is the dried root from the hardy leguminous plant Astragalus membranaceus, because it is an immune system booster. I add a couple of the dried roots, available from Asian food markets (they look like tongue depressors), with the vegetables in step 1.

Makes About 10 Cups

From "The Reducetarian Solution: How The Surprisingly Simple Act of Reducing The Amount of Meat in Your Diet Can Transform Your Health and The Planet" edited by Brian Kateman (Penguin Random House). Recipe developed by Pat Crocker. Photo by Ashleigh Amoroso.