Some ideas to reduce waste and save money take a whole lot of extra time, but this one is very simple. All you do is save your vege scraps in a container in the fridge or freezer until you have enough to make a broth or stock. It’s also a great way of using up veges that are a little lacklustre.
You ideally want to make sure there is some onion or, my favourite, leeks, in there. I use the green part of the leek rather than the nice white part and for onions I use the leftover pieces and their skins. Carrot is a good thing to have in there for sweetness, so if I don’t have any peels and ends to add, I will chop up one or two (or make sure there are some kumara or pumpkin skins added in). Celery is a nice addition but I don’t use the good eating part, rather the less desirable parts near the top and a few leaves plunged in at the end.
You are going to get more variation in flavour than regular broths or stocks, but you soon get to know what you like balance-wise. It surprised me just how delicious a kitchen scrap version could be. I use my broths and stocks to add flavour when cooking grains, lentils, sauces, soups — or as a nourishing drink on its own with the addition of turmeric, ginger, shiitake and sea veges. Make sure all your scraps are free of dirt and any mould.
Kitchen vegetable scrap broth
Collect around a 2-litre container of kitchen scraps, which can include any of the following (keeping in mind you want something from the onion family and some carrots in there).
Onion or shallot skins and ends
Carrot peels and ends
Kumara peelings and ends
Celery ends and a few leaves
Broccoli stalks (not too much)
Cabbage outer leaves or the hard centres (not too much)
Kale or cavolo nero stalks
Parsley or coriander stalks
For regular style broth/stock add
2-3 sprigs thyme
1-2 bay leaves
Salt to taste
For an Asian style broth/stock add
1-2 pieces kombu
2-3 dried shiitake mushrooms (soaked in hot water for 20 minutes, include the soak water)
1 clove garlic or garlic skins
Salt or tamari to taste
- Place the veges in a large pot and fill with around 5 litres of water, bring to the boil and simmer for around 1 hour.
- Add any delicate greens and leafy herbs and leave to steep for 15 minutes before straining. You can add salt at this point or add it later when using the stock.
- Store in the fridge or freezer in 500ml containers. Will keep in the freezer for around 6 months.
Also make: Nourishing miso, shiitake and ginger broth
For a mineral-rich immune-boosting broth, take 2-3 cups of the Asian kitchen scraps broth and add a 5cm piece each of sliced ginger and turmeric root and 1-2 extra dried shiitake mushrooms. Bring to the boil and simmer for 15-20 minutes, take off the heat then add 1-2 teaspoons of miso (I use Urban Hippie brand) or more to taste. Add any additional salt or herbs, like coriander or parsley, once it is finished, as well as a few pieces of wakame or karengo. I pour mine into a keep cup or flask with the ginger and turmeric to allow the flavour to develop further (it can get very gingery this way), or alternatively strain before serving and sprinkle the herbs on top.