Basic Vegetable Broth

Basic Vegetable Broth

The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 60 mins
Total: 70 mins
Servings: 14 servings
Yield: 7 cups
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
40 Calories
0g Fat
9g Carbs
1g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 14
Amount per serving
Calories 40
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 93mg 4%
Total Carbohydrate 9g 3%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Protein 1g
Calcium 39mg 3%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This easy and flavorful vegetable broth recipe will give you the base to make vegetarian soupsgravy, or just to add flavor to a variety of vegetarian dishes. If you are cooking vegetarian or vegan, you can use this vegetable broth as a substitute for any meat broth or stock called for in a recipe.

After you've followed this recipe once or twice, you can be creative in the vegetables you include in your broth. Onions, celery, and potatoes seem to give the best flavors, so try to always include at least some of those. Mushrooms are optional, but they add a savory umami touch, making the vegetable broth a better substitute for meat broth or stock.

Making vegetable broth is a great way to use up vegetable trimmings or potatoes that are about to go bad. Plan ahead and save things like broccoli stalks, onion ends, celery ends, carrot tops, kale stems, collard stems, and potato peels for your vegetable broth. You can also freeze those vegetable odds and ends in a zip-top bag or a freezer-safe container so they are ready when you are and don't go to waste.

1:10

Click Play to See This Basic Vegetable Broth Recipe Come Together

Ingredients

  • 2 stalks celery (chopped)
  • 1 medium potato (chopped into large chunks)
  • 1 carrot (chopped)
  • 1 onion (chopped)
  • 4 ounces mushrooms (chopped in half), optional
  • 3 to 4 cloves garlic (crushed or whole)
  • 8 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 3 bay leaves
  • Dash salt
  • Dash pepper

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Basic Vegetable Broth ingredients

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

  2. Add celery, potato, carrot, onion, mushrooms (if using), garlic, water, soy sauce, bay leaves, salt, and pepper in a large pot and bring to a boil.

    Basic vegetable broth ingredients in a pot

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

  3. Reduce the heat and let the vegetable broth simmer for at least an hour, covered with a lid.

    broth cooking in a covered pot

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

  4. Strain out the vegetables and garlic and remove the bay leaves once the broth is done cooking.

    Basic Vegetable Broth in a pot, vegetables strained out of the broth

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

How to Use

  • You can serve your vegetable broth immediately. And it's great for sipping on a cold day.
  • For a more concentrated broth, simmer the ingredients with the lid off. This will yield about 4 cups of broth.
  • Or use it as a base for another dish. You can use this homemade vegetable broth to make vegetarian soup, gravy, risotto, stew, stir-fry, and more.

Recipe Variation

  • Omit the soy sauce if you need to make a broth for a gluten-free soup. It adds a nice extra flavor, but it's not needed. Tamari, Bragg's, or Nama shoyu can also be used in place of the soy sauce.
  • Add other veggies such as bell peppers, broccoli stalks, or basil—stems and leaves—whatever extra trimmings you might have around for a slightly different flavor.

How to Store and Freeze

  • Your vegetable broth will keep for three to four days in the refrigerator. Be sure to refrigerate it promptly.
  • To keep it longer, freeze it in airtight containers or heavy-duty freezer bags. Be sure to label it with the contents and the date. For convenience, freeze it in measurements you typically use in recipes, such as 1 cup, 2 cups, or 1 pint.
  • Frozen vegetable broth should keep for four to six months in the freezer. It will still be safe to use after that point but may not be at peak quality.