Vegetable Stock from Frozen Scraps

Ruth Ann Reyes
Ruth Ann Reyes Posts: 577 admin
edited August 2021 in General Recipes

I don't know how well you know me. But, I am totally into not wasting any part of the vegetable or the animal! And, since I currently do not have a compost... I know, it's a terrible tragedy.

Well, what do I do?

I freeze my scraps!

And the ones that don't do well in a stock (broccoli, cauliflower, and a few others) I just throw into the forest. Shhhh!!! Don't tell my neighbors.

For the rest of the delicious scraps, skins included...I throw them into a freezer bag and toss them into the deep freeze. Once a month, I have enough to make a beautiful stock!

Since I'm kind of lazy, I like to use my instant pot and a mesh insert like this .. I simply dump the frozen bag into the mesh insert and GO FOR IT!

Pictured Left: Vegetable stock from scraps as described above

Right: Tomato soup made from 100% garden produce (and above vegetable broth which may or may not be from the garden)

Soup: Vegetable stock, tomato, onions, garlic, basil, new potatoes, and spinach

Do you make your own vegetable stock? It definitely brings a different flavor to the party than a meat stock...but, I'm a fan.

What do you do with our stocks/broths?


  • Ruth Ann Reyes
    Ruth Ann Reyes Posts: 577 admin
    edited August 2021

    Here is a photograph of my tomato soup, where I used my freezer-burned bread "croutons" for the garnish!

    Crouton thread:

    Oh, and since I'm "lazy" (read I like convenience) and because tomatoes often burn in the instant pot, I used my instant pot cooking blender for the soup!

    Simply throw it all in...Hit the soup 2 button...and walk away. When it's have a perfectly smooth soup!

  • RustBeltCowgirl
    RustBeltCowgirl Posts: 1,403 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Ruth Ann Reyes I use broccoli and cauliflower stalks in my stock. The actual leftover broccoli goes into something like chicken broccoli rice bake and the cauliflower goes into blended veggies soups.

    Which reminds me, since I have a batch of veggie broth in the crock pot I need to throw the basil and oregano stems in there.

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,633 admin

    I put everything in my broths. Whatever I have on hand. I make a lot of it in the fall when I am harvesting the garden. I, too, use the stalks and outer leaves of broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage for stock. Things that some people might consider waste parts. Carrot tops, radish & turnip leaves, onion stalks, garlic scapes, horseradish leaves, weeds. As I harvest herbs throughout the summer, I dry the stalks separately and use them in my stocks.

    Sometimes a bowl of veggie scraps will sit in my fridge for a few days as I accumulate enough for a stock. My family now refers to it as compost soup.

    I make a lot of meat stocks from bison bones and carcasses from chickens and turkeys, too. I add a lot of veggie scraps and herb stalks to them as well.

    I also add medicinal ingredients such as slices of dried reishi, astragalus root, dandelion root, hot peppers, nettles, dock root, burdock root, ginger, turmeric, etc. I make sure I label anything that is going to be particularly spicy.

    As to what I do with my stocks. Gravy is nice with a boost of stock. If I am making a meat pie, I will add stock to the meat when cooking. Same when I make spaghetti sauces, I will thin the tomato paste with veggie stock. I add stocks when making other soups, like you did for your tomato soup. Bumps up the nutritional content of whatever you are making. I like to have chicken or veggie stock to drink when I have a cold or flu. Chicken soup has been proven to reduce the symptoms and severity of colds. It just feels good to have a hot nourishing beverage when you aren't feeling that great.

  • Ruth Ann Reyes
    Ruth Ann Reyes Posts: 577 admin

    I think the stalks would work fine. But, the florets cause a bit of a bitter taste (and gassy aftermath) for me - so I avoid them!

  • Ruth Ann Reyes
    Ruth Ann Reyes Posts: 577 admin

    We could be besties!

    I also do these things you mentioned!

    Definitely use the other parts of the brassicas - but, they make me gassy - so I tend to avoid them personally.

    I also use stock in these ways too! And I make bone broth ALL THE TIME!

    I need to figure out how to dehydrate or freeze it into small portions for deglazing and for thinning, etc.

    I've tried the ice cube tray - and I'm just not good w/ frozen things... HMMM?

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,633 admin

    @Ruth Ann Reyes Small plastic containers work well. I have some that hold about 4 oz. and 8 oz. and then I use the 2 or 3 cup size of yogurt/sour cream containers for larger portions. So you can bring out the size container you need.

    A friend of mine has a freeze dryer but she hasn't tried broth yet.

  • dipat2005
    dipat2005 Posts: 1,277 ✭✭✭✭

    This sounds yummy and I know it is because I have tasted bone and vegetable broth. Thanks for describing how to make it. Fall is in the air even though we are finally out of the heat and back into the 80's where we belong.

  • annbeck62
    annbeck62 Posts: 1,019 ✭✭✭✭

    Many times I add an extra boost of nutrition and medicine to my stock by adding reishi, burdock, tumeric, seaweed, etc. I don't have a whole lot of freezer space so I make about a gallon at a time and store in the fridge.

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,633 admin

    @annbeck62 Yes, seaweed! I have just started my seaweed journey and have a package to add to broths. I forgot to mention that in my earlier post. Broth is a great place to start adding seaweed to your life.

  • judsoncarroll4
    judsoncarroll4 Posts: 5,457 admin

    I do the same thing. To make a good stock takes a lot of bones and scraps!

  • Paradox
    Paradox Posts: 187 ✭✭✭

    I do the same, but usually for chicken/beef/mixed meat broths. I toss bones in as well, celery leaves, whatever.. This next year, I hope to get more organized and put a series of rubbermaid containers on a cleared shelf in the freezer to make it easier to work with.. but I have to clear that shelf first. :P

    I do NOT use my garlic scapes, however.. because! I have started freeze-drying them along with green onions (I have walking onions in the garden), and mixing a garlic-onion-salt that I give as Christmas gifts. ☺️ (well, and some to use ourselves). Since it uses the green parts, the salt ends up a very pretty color (I think).

  • Paradox
    Paradox Posts: 187 ✭✭✭

    Meant to add that I also crush up the bones after making broth and give those to the dogs. (I put the allum parts in a strainer basket so they don't mix in).

  • Ruth Ann Reyes
    Ruth Ann Reyes Posts: 577 admin

    I dehydrate my chicken bones afterward and crush them up into bone meals to use in the garden. I would think since it's powder, it would be safe for dogs at that point.

    I have a pic, but..I can't seem to locate it right now!

  • AdrienneHew
    AdrienneHew Posts: 94 ✭✭✭

    I've been doing this since the early 90s after watching an episode of the Frugal Gourmet where he discussed this. It has gotten me through some seriously lean times. I actually have two bags. One for carcasses and bones that have not gone on someone's plate (for guests) and another that was perhaps in a stew or otherwise been cooked and ended up on our plates. I find the latter can make the stock kinda thick and murky, but if I put them in the IP on slow, the stock comes out beautifully and often are the tastiest broths. BTW, in old school Escoffier, the bones were just left on the stove on a low simmer -- forever -- continuing to add bones as available. Then just scoop out the stock you want to use in any given recipe. I don't have room for that, so my bones go to the chickens and whatever they don't eat eventually ends up on the grill and charred until hollow, then soaked in vinegar which is then micro dosed to my garden.