Basic Vegetable Broth Recipe

Basic Vegetable Broth
The Spruce
  • 70 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins,
  • Cook: 60 mins
  • Yield: about 2 quarts; serves 16
Ratings (75)

A basic and flavorful vegetable broth recipe to make vegetarian soups, vegetarian gravy, or just to add flavor to a variety of vegetarian recipes. You can use this easy vegetable broth in recipes calling for broth or stock of any kind.

Making a simple homemade vegetable broth is really just as easy as tossing a few bits of chopped vegetables into a pot full of water and boiling it for a while. After you've followed this recipe once or twice, you probably won't need to follow any particular recipe at all when making your own homemade vegetable broth. 

Homemade vegetable broth is also a great way to use up vegetable trimmings or potatoes that are about to go bad. I like to save things like broccoli stalks, celery ends, and carrot tops to toss into a homemade vegetable broth as well. Just about anything like that will work: kale stems, collard stems, chunks of potatoes, etc. Onions, celery and potatoes seem to give the best flavors, in my experience, so try to always include at least some of those. 

Need it to be gluten-free? 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 really needed. Tamari, Bragg's or nama shoyu can also be used in place of the soy sauce.

This simple homemade vegetable broth can be used as a base for vegetarian and vegan soups, gravies and more.

What You'll Need

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1 medium or two small potatoes, chopped into large chunks
  • 1/3 cup mushrooms, chopped in half (optional but adds a nice flavor)
  • 3-4 cloves garlic (you can smash them or leave them whole)
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 tbsp. soy sauce (omit for a gluten-free vegetable broth, or use tamari, which is gluten-free)
  • 8 cups water
  • Dash salt and pepper

How to Make It

  1. First, place all the ingredients in a large pot and bring to a boil.
  2. Reduce heat and let your vegetable broth simmer for at least an hour, covered with a lid. You may decide that you want to add a little bit more water during the cooking process as some will evaporate. Keep your broth covered to reduce this. 
  3. Once your broth is done cooking, strain out the vegetables and garlic and remove the bay leaves.

    Recipe tips: 

    • Plan ahead! Save your broccoli stems, onion ends, celery bottoms and potato peels if you know you're going to be making vegetable stock soon! Or, if it's more than a day or two out that you'll be making a pot of stock, just freeze all those vegetable odds and ends in a zip lock bag or a freezer-safe container so they are ready to go when you are and don't go to waste. 

    See also: Gluten-free vegan soup recipes

    You can use a homemade vegetable broth to make vegetarian soups, gravies, risottos, stews, stir-fries and more. Here's a few vegetarian and vegan recipes to try which call for vegetable broth:

    Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
    Calories 40
    Total Fat 0 g
    Saturated Fat 0 g
    Unsaturated Fat 0 g
    Cholesterol 0 mg
    Sodium 93 mg
    Carbohydrates 9 g
    Dietary Fiber 1 g
    Protein 1 g
    (The nutrition information on our recipes is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. Individual results may vary.)