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How to make Homemade Vegetable Broth

Raise your hand if you make your own vegetable soup broth. It’s so dang easy to open a carton—right? It’s hard to beat the convenience of dissolving a cube of concentrated vegetables in hot water–in just seconds you’ve got the beginnings of a delicious soup. Let’s step out of the cube, or box, or jar, and learn how to make homemade vegetable broth.

Homemade Vegetable Broth

What’s the motivation? Blame it on October Unprocessed, the pledge I made to go a whole month and not eat any processed food. A pledge like that will get you checking the labels on store-bought veggie broth!!

Click here to PIN How to Make Homemade Vegetable Broth!

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Oh dear—what’s the word maltodextrin doing on the box? What the hey–even at a natural food chain store one can’t assume—we’ve got to read labels before unconsciously popping groceries into the cart. Ask yourself if your grandparents would recognize the ingredient. Or could you make it in a home kitchen using easily available ingredients?

ingredients for Homemade Vegetable Broth

Until now, I’d never made my own vegetable broth. In culinary school we learned to make from-scratch meat and chicken broth, but I don’t remember vegetarian broth being in the lesson plan. Truth: I’ve always used a high quality vegetable broth mix or bean broth left from cooking beans.

veggies ready for pot for Homemade Vegetable Broth

Homemade vegetable broth takes not much more than an hour, from coarsely chopping the aromatic vegetables–leeks, carrots, onions, and celery–and browning them in a bit of oil, to pouring the golden caramel liquid into jars. It’s worth the effort, if only for the inviting aroma of simmering broth wafting through the kitchen.

simmering veggies for Homemade Vegetable Broth

It’s not that all store-bought veggie broths are highly processed–we certainly don’t have to swear off packaged broths that help get soup on the table faster. Many brands pass the October Unprocessed “kitchen test”, meaning the ingredients listed are foods that could be made by a person with reasonable skill in a home kitchen with whole-food ingredients.

Jars of Homemade Vegetable Broth

How to make Homemade Vegetable Broth recipe notes:

Here are some hearty soup recipes to keep warm and nourished this fall and winter. All of these call for vegetable broth and all are award-worthy.

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*** This easy-to-make vegetable broth recipe first appeared on Eating Rules, October Unprocessed.
PS If you make this recipe and love it, please consider leaving a blog post comment. Your comments help other readers learn more about the recipe.

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4.5 from 2 votes
Homemade Vegetable Broth in Jars ready to put away
How to Make Homemade Vegetable Broth
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
55 mins
Total Time
1 hr 5 mins
 

Makes about 8 cups of broth.

Course: Component
Cuisine: Vegan, Gluten Free
Keyword: vegetable broth, homemade
Servings: 8 servings.
Calories: 72 kcal
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 leeks , trimmed, coarsely chopped and well-washed
  • 5 carrots (about 1 #) scrubbed and coarsely chopped
  • 2 large yellow onions , chopped (OK to leave skins on)
  • 2 stalks celery , including leaves chopped
  • Thick peel of 1 scrubbed organic potato (see note)
  • Cloves of one bulb of garlic , skins on, smashed
  • 1 whole guajillo chile , optional (see note)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • ½ bunch flat-leaf parsley , coarsely chopped
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons fine sea salt
  • 3 quarts cold water
Instructions
  1. Heat the oil in a large wide pot over medium-high flame and sauté the leeks, carrots, onions, and celery, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are well browned.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients and the water to the pot. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer, uncovered for about 45 minutes.
  3. Place a colander over a bowl and strain the broth. Discard the vegetables. (see note)
  4. Line the colander with cheesecloth or a paper towel (or use a fine sieve), and strain a second time.
  5. Store the broth in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Recipe Notes
  • Save the potato (covered with water) for another purpose, perhaps a soup made with this broth.
  • Mild guajillo chiles add color and unique flavor; one chile in 3 quarts of water contributes no discernable heat. If not using a chile, add another ½ teaspoon black peppercorns.
  • Don’t let the broth sit with the “spent” vegetables—they’ve done their job—strain right away.
Nutrition Facts
How to Make Homemade Vegetable Broth
Amount Per Serving
Calories 72 Calories from Fat 27
% Daily Value*
Fat 3g5%
Sodium 105mg5%
Potassium 209mg6%
Carbohydrates 9g3%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 3g3%
Protein 1g2%
Vitamin A 6740IU135%
Vitamin C 6.9mg8%
Calcium 34mg3%
Iron 0.7mg4%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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