Prep Time: ~15 minutes (5 before, 10 after)

Cook Time: 1-2 hours

There’s nothing quite like homemade soup, and this vegetable broth can be made easily with material that would otherwise go straight into the compost. As you cook throughout the week, save vegetable scraps in a container in the freezer. When the container is full, its time to make broth!

Various vegetable scraps waiting in the freezer to get made into broth


  • large pot with lid
  • strainer or cheesecloth
  • funnel
  • jars with lids (we reuse old tomato sauce jars)


  • Frozen vegetable scraps
    • onion/garlic skins, bottoms, and tops (you can never have too much onion and garlic!)
    • pepper cores, seeds, and pith
    • carrot tops and leaves
    • squash skins and seeds
    • tomato cores and vines
    • broccoli stems and cabbage cores (don’t over do it with these, as they can make the broth bitter, but a little is okay)
  • Wild herbs like garlic mustard or onion grass
  • Dill seed
  • Bay leaf
  • Thyme
  • Black pepper (or pepper cress)
  • Salt (to taste)
  • Bones or other meat scraps (optional)
  • Turkey Tail (optional)
  • Mushrooms (optional)
  • Butter/oil (optional)


  • If using mushrooms, wash and slice and place in the bottom of the pot with the butter. Simmer on low heat until soft, approx. 5 minutes
  • Add frozen vegetable scraps to pot and add just enough water to cover, increase heat to medium-high and cover
  • If using bones or other meat scraps, break bones to expose inner marrow and add to broth
  • Wait until the broth just reaches a boil, then reduce heat to simmer and cover with lid
  • Once the boiling has settled to a simmer, add dill seed, bay leaf, thyme, and pepper. If you desire any additional spices you can add them now.
  • If an extra medicinal soup is desired, you can place a few turkey tail mushrooms in the broth now
  • Keep covered on simmer for 1-2 hours, stirring occasionally
  • Add salt to taste
  • Once finished, you can remove from heat and either let it cool in the pot overnight before jarring (if freezing) or jar immediately if storing at room temperature
  • If jarring immediately, strain out solids and then follow canning instructions for tomato sauce
  • If freezing, let cool to room temperature then strain out solids and pour into jars. Place jars in freezer for up to 6 months.
  • Place strained solids in the compost
Fresh and frozen vegetable scraps, ready to be cooked down into broth
Cooked broth, ready for straining
Finished broth frozen in reused containers

To enjoy, simply place the homemade broth in a pot with rice, beans, other vegetables, or whatever else you desire to eat!