kitchen economics 101: make stock not war

How to make your own veggie stock using kitchen scraps

If throwing unused vegetables in the garbage leaves an empty pit in your stomach, this is one of the best ways to use up veggie leftovers. It feels so great to reduce waste, save money, and make a veggie stock that is leaps and bounds better than store-bought.

Most veggie scraps can be used to make stock.

  • Save: carrot peels and tops, carrot greens, onion and potato ends, celery, herbs like parsley or thyme that are about to go bad, tomatoes, or greens. Too much garlic? Unfinished salad? Throw it in.
  • Avoid: strong tasting root vegetables or veggies that would significantly alter the color or flavor (not in a good way) like turnips, beets, or cabbage
  • Keep a large ziplock bag in the freezer and add to it constantly. When the bag is full, make stock.
  • How to do it:
    • Empty your large freezer bag of chopped veggies into a large soup pot. Add spices like salt and pepper, thyme, bay leaves, Italian seasoning, parsley – this part is really up to you, throw in whatever herbs and spices you enjoy.
    • Cover the veggies with water and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low and simmer 45 minutes. Drain the liquid and use right away in soups or sauces, or freeze it to use later.

Using this method, no two batches of vegetable stock will taste the same, and making your own stock tastes INSANELY delicious in homemade soup or when you use it to make rice, quinoa, lentils or mashed potatoes.

For more tips on how to reduce kitchen waste check out Kitchen Economics 101: surprise uses for normally composted items

Jacqueline Fisch is a [mostly] plant-based cook and aspiring minimalist, especially in the kitchen, where keeping it simple matters the most. She shows stressed-out folks how to unfuss their cooking and re-connect with food, so they can enjoy the unfussy life. Her un-fussy writing has been featured on Mind Body Green, Kris Carr, Happy Herbivore and Mint.com. When she's not simplifying busy people’s plates, you can find her devouring books on food and culture, trying not to fall over in crow pose and finishing her day off with a big glass of organic red wine and a hunk of dark chocolate.

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