Best Homemade Vegetable Stock Ever!

best homemade vegetable stock

Best Home­made Veg­etable Stock. Hand’s down! With a title like that, you’d think I’d be feel­ing a lit­tle pres­sure about hav­ing to deliv­er. But you guys…this is seri­ous­ly the best veg­etable stock I have ever tast­ed. No com­par­isons. And it will be the base for so many things I cook, from soups and stews, to rice and quinoa or roasts.

I’ve hon­est­ly tried mak­ing home­made veg­etable stock in the past, but the fla­vor nev­er real­ly grabbed me. It was­n’t any dif­fer­ent than the car­tons of stock I could buy at the store. And to tell the truth, I always “doc­tor” those up when I use them. They just don’t have much flavor.

After dozens of stock pots of tri­al and error exper­i­ments, I’m hap­py to announce I have dis­cov­ered the best home­made veg­etable stock recipe. This beau­ti­ful veg­gie broth has a rich, savory fla­vor that makes you think meat, even though there isn’t any. That uma­mi is com­ing from lots of onions and gar­lic, a bit of nutri­tion­al yeast and the earth­i­ness of baby bel­la mush­rooms. Car­rots bring the sweet and the toma­toes and cider vine­gar reign them in, so there’s a per­fect bal­ance of sweet and acid. The fin­ish is an unex­pect­ed kick of gen­tle heat from some jalapeno and ginger.

The nutri­tion is off the charts, too. My home­made veg­etable broth boasts all the col­ors of the rain­bow in veg­gies, herbs and spices, so the vit­a­mins and min­er­als are all in there. 

best homemade vegetable stock

The Best Homemade Vegetable Stock Ingredients

Does It Make Sense, Economically to Make It from Scratch?

The great news is, it did­n’t cost me any more to make this from scratch than it costs to buy those car­tons of stock I’m used to. And if you fac­tor in every­thing I add to car­ton broth, it prob­a­bly costs a lit­tle less, to make it at home.

The rea­son this stock is so much more afford­able than meat broths is that it starts with veg­gie scraps. All the peels and car­rot tops, all the root ends of cel­ery, rub­bery zuc­chi­ni from the back of the crisper, onion skins, roots & tops, bell pep­per ends and stems and all the rest. 

Save Veggie Scraps in the Freezer

I keep a one-gal­lon zip-top bag in my fridge freez­er. I use it to col­lect all the bits and ends of veg­gies I’ve used in oth­er dish­es or ones that have got­ten too old before I get them used. When the bag is full, it’s time to make home­made veg­etable stock.

A recipe with so many pos­si­ble vari­a­tions can seem com­pli­cat­ed. Trust me! This is 10 min­utes to get every­thing into the stock pot and that’s it. I add fresh veg­eta­bles to the bits and pieces from the freez­er with a few herbs and some water. 10 min­utes of prep and then I’m off about my busi­ness. The stock pot and my stove do all the work for the next 8 hours, so I can just get on with my day.

The beau­ty of this kind of stock is you are work­ing with a few sta­ple basics and then the rest can be altered to use what you have on hand. It’s hard to call it a recipe because so many vari­ables can change, depend­ing on what’s in your pantry. And the end result, 4 beau­ti­ful quarts of stock! Yup. One whole gallon!

best homemade vegetable stock ingredients

You need 8.5 pounds of veg­gies in your *stock pot. Of course you’re going to have a bag of odds and ends. Per­fect! And you’re going to get every stray brus­sels sprout, aspara­gus spear and bell pep­per from the back of the crisper draw­er. Out­stand­ing! Your home­made veg­etable stock will be a mix-up of all the favorite veg­gies that you’re used to buy­ing. But, there are some ingre­di­ents, after all my test­ing, that I would con­sid­er crit­i­cal to a great end prod­uct, above and beyond those items. To get the same results, you will need to add these.

“Must Have” Ingredients

  • Onions, at least 3 very large — I actu­al­ly used 1 large red, white and yel­low and then two more small­er red ones.
  • Gar­lic — a cou­ple Table­spoons of minced gar­lic will add to the savori­ness of your fin­ished veg­etable broth
  • Mush­rooms — I used 1 pound of baby bel­las. My guess is any “meaty”-type mush­room will do the same thing.
  • Diced toma­toes — these canned toma­toes will not only add col­or and nutri­tion but will essen­tial­ly “melt” away into your stock, giv­ing it body, acid and meatiness.
  • *Nutri­tion­al Yeast — I’ve sprung this ingre­di­ent on you in oth­er recipes. If you’ve nev­er tried it, you will be blown away by the depth of fla­vor it can add to a dish. I would­n’t leave this out. I’ve pur­chased it at Wal­mart, but most often order in bulk, online.
  • Apple Cider Vine­gar- The vine­gar cre­ates a good sweet and acid bal­ance that is a nice fin­ish to the broth.
  • Bay leaves, jalapeno and gin­ger — Bay leaves are an herb I con­sid­er essen­tial to any broth, stock, soup, stew, or roast meat dish. No oth­er herb brings that spe­cif­ic aro­ma and fla­vor. I only used half a jalapeno and you can use even less if you want, but that pep­per along with the gin­ger, leave that lit­tle bit of sat­is­fy­ing heat at the back of your throat when you fin­ish a bite of this home­made veg­etable broth. You would be miss­ing that spec­tac­u­lar lay­er of fla­vor if you omit­ted them.
  • Your Favorite Herbs — Use the com­bi­na­tions you love best. Fresh or dried real­ly does­n’t mat­ter. Remem­ber that with dried the fla­vor is con­cen­trat­ed, though, so only use ½ the amount you would with fresh. I raid­ed the last of my dry­ing up herb gar­den for these. They worked perfectly!
herbs for best homemade vegetable stock

How to Make the Best Homemade Vegetable Broth

Print
clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
best homemade vegetable stock

Best Homemade Vegetable Stock Ever!


  • Author: Glen­da Embree
  • Prep Time: 10 min­utes
  • Cook Time: 8 hours
  • Total Time: 8 hours 10 minutes
  • Yield: 4 quarts (16 cups) 1x

Ingredients

Scale
  • 8.5 lbs of fresh veg­eta­bles and veg­etable scraps  (should include onions, gar­lic and mushrooms)
  • 1 (28 oz) can of diced toma­toes ( or 2-14 oz cans)
  • 24 cups (6 quarts) of water
  • 2 Table­spoons sea salt 
  • 2 Table­spoons of coarse black pepper
  • 2 Table­spoons minced garlic
  • 3-4 bay leaves  (If you have no oth­er herbs, these are essential.)
  • 4-5 Table­spoons of mixed fresh herbs (or 2-2 ½ Table­spoons dried)
  • ¼ cup nutri­tion­al yeast
  • 2 Table­spoons apple cider vinegar

Veg­gies I used today in addi­tion to my scraps.  These with my scraps com­prised the total 8.5 pounds of veggies.

  • 1 large red onion and 2 small­er red onions, quartered
  • 1 large white onion, quartered
  • 1 large yel­low onion, quartered
  • an old rub­bery zucchini
  • ½ a toma­to we had used for slic­ing sev­er­al days ago
  • half a bag of wrinkly baby bell peppers
  • half a jalapeno with seeds
  • wilt­ed rem­nants of a bag of fresh spinach
  • 1 ½ lbs car­rots (mix of old­er baby car­rots and 1 lb of whole new carrots)
  • old cel­ery root and 4 fresh ribs, rough diced
  • 1 lb of baby bel­la mushrooms
  • 2”knob fresh gin­ger, unpeeled and quartered
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 7 or 8 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 sprigs fresh sage

Instructions

  1. veggies ready to cook for best homemade vegetable stockRough chop all the veg­gies and put them in a LARGE (at least 16 quart) *stock pot.  If your stock pot is small­er, cut this recipe in half.  If half the recipe won’t fit in your cur­rent stock pot, you need to invest in a great stock pot as an essen­tial kitchen tool.  I use mine, at least once a week and often, even more.  It’s a great item to add to your Christ­mas or birth­day wish list if you don’t have the cash to invest, right away.  But get a good one.  Some­thing sol­id.  Mine are hard core, heavy duty stain­less steel and will lit­er­al­ly be passed down to my kids and prob­a­bly my grand­kids, even with all the use they get.  I have a *16 quart and a *12 quart.
  2. Add the canned toma­toes, salt, pep­per, gar­lic, bay leaves and oth­er herbs.
  3. Pour 24 cups (6 quarts) of water over every­thing.  Veg­gies will be show­ing above the water and that’s fine.  As this cooks, the veg­gies will cook down and shriv­el as they release their own liq­uid.  You don’t need every­thing sub­merged right now.
  4. DON’T ADD the yeast or vine­gar until the end, after the broth has been strained.
  5. Turn the heat on high to get the water to come to a boil.
  6. Once it’s boil­ing, reduce it to medi­um-low (On my stove, that’s 4 out of 10.) You don’t want it to stay at a hard boil, just to con­tin­ue to bub­ble and sim­mer.  Now, go about your busi­ness and enjoy your day.  Your house is going to start smelling like someone’s Grand­ma invad­ed and is cook­ing you a sump­tu­ous meal from the “old coun­try”.  The aro­ma will be intox­i­cat­ing! Enjoy!
  7. If you pass the kitchen through the day, check your water lev­el.  You’re going to allow this to sim­mer a min­i­mum of 8 hours, so start­ing first thing in the morn­ing is a good plan.  Try and keep the water lev­el about at the same lev­el as when you first began.  It will def­i­nite­ly drop some over time.  So, if you’re pass­ing and it seems a lit­tle low, you can add some more water.  I added an addi­tion­al 5 cups of water about 4 hours in.
  8. After 8 hours, place a strain­er over a large pot and strain what’s left of the veg­eta­bles out of the stock.  They will look like a sad, pile of brown mush.  All the good­ness has cooked into your veg­etable stock!  Dis­card the spent veggies.straining best homemade vegetable stock
  9. Stir the nutri­tion­al yeast and apple cider vine­gar into your strained stock. 
  10. Taste the stock and addi­tion­al salt if it’s needed.
  11. Trans­fer to con­tain­ers for the fridge or freez­er.  The stock will be good in the fridge for about a week and up to two months in the freezer.
  • Cat­e­go­ry: Soups
  • Method: Slow Cook
  • Cui­sine: Amer­i­can

Key­words: veg­etable, broth, stock, herbs

best homemade vegetable stock

Recipes for Using Homemade Vegetable Stock

My 10-Minute Easy Mex­i­can Rice

10-Minute Easy Mexican Rice

Best Ever Slow Cook­er Refried Beans

slow cooker refried beans

Jalapeno Chick­en and Corn Chowder

I’ll bet I won’t need the extra bouil­lon in this recipe, now that I can make it with my Home­made Veg­etable Broth!

jalapeno chicken and corn chowder

Leave a Comment

Recipe rating