Once I feel the slightest chill in the air, I start making veggie broth on a weekly basis. Soups are my go-to meal during cold months. You can pack so much nutrition into one bowl. Plus, soups are so warming and grounding – exactly what you need when it’s freezing outside. Soups also are very freezer friendly, super easy to pack for lunches, and in my family, a crowd pleaser. I’ll take less complaining any day!
Making vegetable broth also is a great way to minimize waste. I use all those vegetable trims that so often get thrown away – carrot ends, asparagus ends, broccoli stems, onion roots, kale stems, parsley stems…you get the point! There’s so much nutrition in those unwanted parts of vegetables. As I cook throughout the week, I add those scraps to a large Ziplock bag that I keep it in my refrigerator (just wash and reuse the plastic bag every week). If you don’t make veggie broth that frequently, you can also freeze these scraps and use them whenever you’re ready!
I’m a huge fan of my pressure cooker. There’s really no need to buy a fancy electric one. I’ve been using this affordable jiggle top pressure cooker for years and it’s never failed me. Pressure cookers reduce the cooking time a lot while retaining more nutrients in the food. Saves me time and makes me healthy? I’m all about it. Making vegetable broth in a pressure cooker takes about 30 minutes in total, and that includes only five minutes of active time. You can kick back and watch an episode of Stranger Things the rest of the time! It’s totally worth it and tastes monumentally better than any boxed vegetable broth on the market.
I store my veggie broth in freezer-friendly mason jars. If I don’t cook with the broth within 4-5 days, I freeze the jars for future soups, whole grains, etc. Don’t you just love when you have a stock of homemade vegetable broth in your freezer?
Pressure Cooked Vegetable Broth
I always use the same base of vegetables for my veggie broth. Vegetable additions depend on what I'm cooking that week and the trims leftover in my fridge! Do you tend to throw out veggies that are at the end of their freshness? Don't throw them away! Produce like slightly wilted green leafy vegetables are a great addition to your veggie broth. Use your judgement - if it's moved into the rotting category, then skip it...
- 3 carrots scrubbed and cut into 3 chunks
- 2 parsnips scrubbed and cut into 3 chunks
- 3 celery stalks scrubbed and cut into 3 chunks
- 1 onion quartered with skin on
- 2 cloves garlic smashed slightly with side of knife, with skin on
- 1 2-inch piece of kombu
- 2 bay leaves
- handful of parsley
- 2 scallions coarsley chopped
examples of additional vegetables to add (fill your pressure cooker with vegetable to the minimum line):
- thyme sprigs, oregano or any other herbs you like
- broccoli stems chopped into chunks
- wilted green leafy vegetables such as kale, Swiss chard, lettuces, collards
- unused stems from kale, Swiss chard, etc.
- mushrooms and/or mushroom stems
- asparagus ends
- fennel and/or fennel fronds
- potatoes and/or sweet potatoes with skin on
Wash vegetables well and put in pressure cooker. Fill pressure cooker with vegetables, kombu and bay leaves to the minimum fill line. Add water to the maximum fill line.
Bring to maximum pressure over high heat. On jiggle top pressure cookers, the pressure cooker will lock and the jiggle top will begin jiggling/dancing. Reduce heat to medium so the top jiggles steadily. Cook at high pressure for 10 minutes. Turn off heat and allow pressure to come down naturally. Pressure cooker will unlock when pressure is down.
Carefully, take off lid by angling the lid away from your face. Very hot steam will escape (and not the feel good kind). Strain broth through a mesh strainer. Pour into mason jars and store in refrigerator for up to 5 days. Freeze for up to 3 months.