Veggie Scraps + Turmeric Vegetable Broth Recipe
While I was looking for a way to use up my stockpile of fresh turmeric, I also realized my freezer was about to burst apart at the seams with all of the vegetable trimmings I have been stashing away. Do you save vegetable scraps? I keep a plastic bag in the freezer, making it easy to toss in roots, stems, leaves, and peels as I go. Once the bag is full, I simply dump it into a stockpot with a mix of herbs and spices, and let simmer for about 30 minutes (don’t overcook it!). Easy squeezy.
Veggie Scraps – What to Use
Make sure all items are cleaned thoroughly before tossing them in your freezer bag!
- Onion – there are always bits left over from cutting an onion. You can also save the papery skins if you want add a brownish color to your stock.
- Carrot – save the tops and the skins if you peel your carrots
- Celery – great way to use those tough outer stalks
- Leeks – especially the dark green parts that are half the plant but never used!
- Celery Root – I haven’t tried this as the skins are always so dirty, but if you really go to town and clean the outside well, this could be an option
- Squash – both winter (skins and seeds) and summer
- Bell peppers
- Fennel – you don’t have to compost the stalks and fronds!
- Garlic – those pesky teeny-tiny inner cloves can finally be put to good use!
- Fresh turmeric
- Potato & sweet potato – the skins will give the stock some body
- Corn cobs
- Green beans
- Hot peppers – I haven’t tried this myself but it could be a fun experiment if you like spicy food!
- Chard stems
- Dried seaweed
- Parsley stems
- Cilantro stems
- Rosemary sprigs
- Fresh thyme
- Bay leaves
- Keffir lime leaves
- Spices – peppercorns, fennel seeds, cumin, coriander, mustard seeds, etc
Veggie Scraps – What Not to Use
Most people caution against using broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, turnips, rutabagas, red beets, artichoke trimmings and excessive amounts of greens as they can overpower the stock. And definitely don’t use anything that is spoiled!
How to Use It
There are many ways to use this stock but I loved it in a simple miso soup. I added a tablespoon or two of white miso to a couple cups of hot broth and topped it with sliced scallions and radishes. I also used it in place of water when making curried red lentils. The curry spices overpowered the flavor of the stock but I still think it added depth to the flavor.
Experiment and have fun!
Turmeric Vegetable Broth
Heat the oil in a large stockpot over medium heat until shimmering. Add the turmeric and saute for a few minutes. At this point, you can add the vegetable scraps and saute until browned for a deeper layer of flavor, but it's not necessary. Add the remaining ingredients, cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Pour through a fine mesh strainer and transfer to multiple smaller containers (I use quart sized canning jars). Allow to cool to room temperature and transfer to the refrigerator for a few days or to the freezer for up to 6 months.
1) I didn't find the flavor from this amount of turmeric overpowering so you could try adding more if you like; 2) any of the herbs and spices are optional - just use what you have on hand and like; 3) this recipe makes about 8 cups.