Autumn means soup, and soup means broth

Suddenly, it’s gotten cold, and all I want is soup. A good soup starts with a homemade broth. It’s both economical and ecologically responsible–  you get to use all of the ends of your vegetables. It’s also healthier and tastier than broth you purchase in a can or a box. I’ve been making a big pot every Sunday, and then using it over the week for soups, sauces and things like risotto.

Vegetable Broth

You’ll need a large stock pot for this. The ingredients here are just a guide– you can put in almost any vegetables and herbs that you have on hand. If you’ve saved the peels from your carrots and potatoes, throw those in as well! Nothing needs to be finely chopped– just cut into big chunks. I don’t salt the broth until I’m using it for a recipe.

I made the pictured soup by adding soy sauce, mushrooms, scallions and dumplings to some of the broth.


  • veggie brothWater
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 large carrot
  • 1 parsnip
  • 2 russet potatoes, quartered
  • 1 onion, quartered
  • 3 stalks of celery (keep the leaves on!)
  • 2 leeks
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon whole peppercorns
  • 1 bunch of flat leaf parsley
  • 3 sprigs of thyme

Rinse all of the vegetables well, and place in a large, heavy pot. Fill pot with water so that it’s three-quarters full. Add the garlic and bay leaf. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer. Add the remaining herbs and spices. Adjust seasonings to taste and simmer for at least 30 minutes.

Strain the broth. Discard the bay leaf, peppercorns, and clove. You can then eat the veggies, or purée them for future use in soups, sauces and stews.

Let the broth cool, and then refrigerate. It will keep for about 5 days. You can also freeze some broth, and it will keep for several months.