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How to Make Vegetable Broth

This is an incredibly simple, mindless vegetable broth. It mimics the boxed or canned brands, but is salt-free (a standard 1-cup serving contains 20-25% of your daily sodium allowance!) and allows you to control the quality of the ingredients. It also takes advantage of my favorite appliance, the slow cooker, so you can throw it together with about 15 minutes of hands-on time.

We’ve been making this about every two weeks, but that’s kind of atypical. If you don’t use it up all at once, I recommend freezing it in zip-top bags in 2- or 4-cup servings. You could also freeze it in a muffin pan for smaller (~1/4 cup) servings. Pop out the portions once they’re frozen and store them in a large zip-top bag.

Basic Vegetable Broth
Makes 10-12 cups, depending on the size of your slow cooker


  • 1 pound of carrots, scrubbed and chopped into big chunks
  • 1 large celeriac (10-12 ounces), peeled and chopped into big chunks (see this post for directions)
  • 1 pound of onions (about 3), quartered but not peeled
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 6 whole sprigs of parsley or 2 TBsp chopped parsley – We chopped and froze a ton of parsley in ice cubes at the end of the summer, so that we could have local parsley all winter.
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 10 black peppercorns
  • 1 tsp dried thyme


  1. Dump everything into the slow cooker and fill it up with water. My slow cooker can handle 10-12 cups of water, depending on how bulky the veggies are.

  2. Cook on high for 4 to 6 hours or low for 8 to 10. It really won’t be hurt by extra time, so don’t worry if you leave to have brunch with a friend, have an second cup of coffee, and get home late.

  3. Put a colander on top of a large bowl (make sure it’s big enough to hold all the stock. Wet a piece of cheesecloth and wring it out well. Lay the cheese cloth over the colander. Use a ladle to transfer the contents of the slow cooker to the colander.

  4. You can let it drain just like that or bundle up the cheesecloth and hang it over the bowl. We use this little set up to let broth and jelly strain hanging from the cabinet. Give it a little squeeze every now and then to get all the liquid out.

  5. Once the dripping has stopped (probably in less than an hour), store the broth in the refrigerator or freezer or use it right away.

6 comments to How to Make Vegetable Broth

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