Low-Carbon Vegetable Broth

Get more out of your vegetable scraps before composting them and reduce waste by avoiding store-bought containers of vegetable broth.

Consider saving vegetable ends, stalks, leaves, and scraps by keeping them in a reusable container in your freezer until you are ready to make this broth. Save the peels, too! Celery, carrots, onions, and garlic are the main ingredients but there are lots of others you can add!

Wash all of your ingredients well before freezing. Vegetable broth is great in soups and stews and can be used in place of water when cooking rice or other grains. 


  • 1 tbsp. Olive oil (optional)
  • Water

Trimmings, ends, and peels from vegetables like:

  • Celery
  • Carrots
  • Fennel
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Parsley
  • Mushrooms

Feel free to also add in ingredients like:

  • Dried mushrooms
  • Peppercorns
  • Bay Leaves

Avoid vegetables that are too starchy, strong in colour or flavour, or that get bitter after cooking for too long, like:

  • Potatoes
  • Beets
  • Zucchini 
  • Green beans


Step 1.

Heat oil in your largest pot over medium-high heat (optional). Add in all of your ingredients and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables start to soften and become fragrant (about 5 minutes). 

Step 2. 

Add in 12-16 cups of water (or as much as your pot can hold) and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 1 – 1.5 hours.

Step 3.

Strain broth through a sieve into a large bowl and divide into containers to keep in the fridge (up to 1 week) or freezer (up to 3 months). 

Step 4. 

Now compost the solids that are left!

Recipe inspiration: Bon Appetit’s Vegetable Stock.

EnviroCentre Recipe by Brodie Kinnear.