Monday, February 15, 2010

Day 43: Make our own broth

Vegetable and chicken broth is really easy to make, and very inexpensive compared to storebought broth.

To make vegetable broth, just throw veggies in a pot with water and spices, and boil for a while until you get a nice consistency. Let's say you made a stir fry or some sort of veggie-intensive meal one night, but instead of composting your veggie scraps, you put them in a bowl and save them in the fridge. You can take these veggie scraps and make broth with them and THEN compost them.

Here are some good veggies to use: turnip caps, carrot nubs and peels, celery bits, onion peels, potatoes.

Put all this in a pot with water and a bay leaf, rosemary, thyme, or whatever sort of herbs taste good to you. Heat to a low boil, then turn to low and keep cooking until all the good stuff is out of the veggies and into the broth. Use a sieve to strain out the veggie junk and compost that.

For chicken broth, do that same basic thing, except you can use a chicken carcass, such as one of from a grocery store rotisserie chicken. Tony bought one of those while I was gone in California for the week, and I refuse to waste the carcass in addition to all that wasteful plastic packaging and who-knows-what kind of treatment for that factory chicken.

I threw the carcass in a tall pot with water and half a leftover onion (I was making a frittata and used only half the onion) and some bay leaves. Bring it to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer it for an hour or so.

It made about four 32-ounce yogurt containers full of broth. At the store one aseptic 32-ounce container of chicken broth costs upwards of $3.99 for organic or around $2 for non-organic. The homemade version was essentially free, and there were no aseptic (juice box style) containers or cans to throw out. You do have to throw away the chicken pieces and bones since they can't be composted, and you have to throw out the chicken's own container that it came in.

Anyway, when you're done, just remember to strain the broth and store for up to a week in the fridge.

You can use this for soups, sauces, or whatever you normally need broth for.

Pocket: 6, Planet: 10, Win-win: 26


  1. For much of late fall and winter, we have been having a turkey or chicken each week. Afterward, my wife makes stock and broth, and usually some soup. My six year-old calls it magic soup.

  2. FYI- if you brown the veggies with an aromatic (onion, garlic, shallot) in some olive oil before adding the water, the broth will be richer.

  3. Yeah, I think in my soup photos on flickr you can see the browning going on first. What's the difference between broth and stock though? That's my question.