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Basic Vegetable Broth

A simple vegetable broth that is great eaten "as is", provides an excellent base for vegetable soups, and adds flavor when used in any recipe that calls for vegetable broth.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 10 minutes


  • 4 quarts water
  • 3 carrots
  • 3 celery stalks
  • 3 onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • At least 3 other vegetables e.g. turnips, parsnips, tomato, celery root, cabbage, broccoli stalks, chard, kohlrabi, amounts at your discretion
  • Kosher or sea salt and freshly ground pepper


  1. Add the vegetables to the water and bring the broth to a boil. Simmer it, covered, for one hour.
  2. Uncover the pot and simmer the broth uncovered for at least an additional hour. About 15 minutes before the end of the cooking, add salt and pepper to taste. Start with 1/2-1 teaspoon of salt and 5-6 twists of pepper.
  3. Cool the broth slightly and pour it through a colander into another pot or a heatproof bowl. Press the vegetables left in the colander with the back of a wooden spoon, moving them around and pressing until all their juices have been rendered into the broth. Discard the pressed-out vegetables.

Recipe Notes

When you press the vegetables, you may end up with tiny bits of vegetables floating in the broth. I like the bits of vegetable and they are not noticeable if you are using the broth in another dish or a hearty soup with other ingredients or with squash or other vegetables pureed into the broth. Of course, if you prefer the broth completely clear, you can pour it through cheesecloth to catch the vegetable bits.
The amount of broth at the end of cooking depends on how long you let it simmer. My estimate is that you'll have about 3 quarts if you simmer the broth uncovered for 1 hour, and slightly less than that if you let it simmer uncovered for longer.