A while ago, I made a quick note at the end of a post about a brilliant idea I read in a comment online. The article was about composting — how everyone wants to do it and knows they should do it, but it’s hard to actually make it happen. I have a composting bin in my kitchen that was provided to me for free by the wonderful city of San Francisco, but I hardly use it because it’s a pain to deal with. It stinks up my tiny kitchen, is impossible to find a decent bag for, and emptying it is the worst. 

But this commenter had a brilliant solution: Every week, she saves all of her vegetable scraps, and freezes them. Everything: spinach stems, onion skins, garlic shavings, ends of carrots and potato peels. Then, when she has a free afternoon, she dumps it all in a pot of water, flavors accordingly, and boils it for a few hours to make vegetable broth. Genius, no? 

So I did it. 


It worked out great (as you can see above — this is only half, I froze the rest), and I’m totally going to keep doing this. There is a caveat — I have a small freezer, so I can’t do this with all my vegetable scraps otherwise I’d have no room in there. But it is really easy (I love that I can keep this in the freezer until I have the time to make the broth), it makes me feel like I’m throwing less away, and the homemade stock is a delicious bonus. This is a mix of chard, onion, carrots, garlic, potatoes, and Lord knows what else. I put it all in my biggest pot of water, flavored it with rosemary, parsley and peppercorn, and let it boil for 3 hours. At the very end I decided to put in a big tablespoon of miso for that extra umami, but I think it would’ve been fine without it anyways. 

With this sudden gloomy weather in California, I fully intend on making some extra-delicious soup tomorrow night. 


  1. Gayle Higgins said:

    It would make great hostess gifts too. Who wouldn’t want custom vegetable stock by Chef V.

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