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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

  • Hello Lindsay and Erik!
    I never did get around to thanking you for the suggestions you made for photos on my website. I really have been struggling with them, but know that the two things that will help the most (a better camera and more light in my kitchen) will be a long time coming. I have started using a tripod though, so maybe that will at least help the focus of the long exposure shots?
    Thanks too for this post on vege broth. Funny, I’ve made chicken and venison broth for years to keep around for soups, but have never actually made to store a vege broth. I will remember for sure to freeze herbs this summer. That’s a great idea! I read somewhere too that freezing herbs in water (ie. in an ice tray or small cup that you can get the ice back out of) helps keep the flavor and shape of the herb leaves. I’ve yet to try it either way, but am looking forward to putting some up for next year.
    I’m enjoying your posts – the detail in your meals is great for those of us who wish to copy you!

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