Homemade Food Scrap Vegetable Broth, an easy homemade soup broth recipe using vegetable food scraps. Repurpose food by stocking up on this simple vegetable stock!

a blue soup pot with vegetable soup on a white table with a small green plant

Do you make your own soup stocks? We try to stock up on homemade stocks when we can and love cooking up a big batch of vegetable broth to freeze and pull out for simple seasonal soups all year long.

In our quest to eat a green, sustainable diet, we are always looking for ways to reuse the foods we buy — and one of our favorite ways to do this is to make homemade vegetable broth from food scraps that we would have composted anyway. Those carrot tops and onion peels that end up in the trash are actually great for flavoring broths!

And not only is reusing food scraps a great way to maximized the flavor of the food you buy, you'll also save money by making your own homemade soup broths AND reduce unnecessary food packaging. Win, win!

Are you ready to learn how to make this so-simple homemade food scrap soup? Let's do it!

vegetable scraps on a white table with salt, pepper, and a soup pot for vegetable broth

How to make Homemade Food Scrap Vegetable Broth

First, collect your food scraps. I save food scraps throughout the week in a glass food storage container that I keep in the refrigerator if the scraps will be good seasoning for vegetable broth. Most food scraps are great for broth, but some are too bitter or don't lend themselves well to broths.

Here's what food scraps you should save and which to pitch:

  • Scraps to save: celery stems, carrot stalks, carrot greens, onion peels, garlic roots, apple cores, herbs of any kind, kale stems, lemon and lime rinds, etc.
  • Scrap to compost (not worth it in your soup): avocado seeds and skins, banana peels (yuck), stone fruit cores (toxic), rhubarb and tomato leaves (will cause vomiting and digestive issues)
a blue soup pot with bright green red, and yellow vegetables inside on a white table

Next, add food scraps to a large soup pot and add water to cover all vegetables. Add a pinch of salt, ground black pepper, and garlic (for flavor, if you don't already have it as a scrap). Bring the vegetables and water to a boil, then simmer on low for 30 minutes to let the vegetables scraps release their flavor.

Finally, strain the vegetables out of the soup until only the broth remains (compost them!). Use the broth immediately in soups or as a flavored liquid for rice or beans, or let the broth cool and then freeze in freezer-safe food storage containers. When you're ready to use them from frozen, thaw in the refrigerator one day before using the broth or let thaw on the counter for a few hours.

That's it! A super simple vegetable broth recipe made from food scraps you would have just composted anyway.

water pouring into a soup pot with vegetables and a candle in the background

Homemade Food Scrap Vegetable Broth: Tips, tricks, and tools

Making homemade vegetable broth is as easy as it gets, but there are a few tips, tricks, and tools that will help streamline your cooking

  • Save your scraps: save your food scraps throughout the week in a food storage container in your refrigerator and make soup broth once a week to put your food scraps to work
  • Freeze for later: make food scrap broth even if you don't have soup on your weekly meal plan — just freeze for later use, your future self will thank you
  • Skip these scraps: there are some foods that have leaves or other parts that are not meant to be eaten. Skip tomato leaves, stone fruit seeds (apricots, cherries, etc.), and rhubarb leaves because they are toxic when consumed
a blue ceramic dutch oven with vegetable broth and a glass bowl with leftover vegetable scraps

Love this simple food scrap soup recipe? Check out our other seasonal soups recipes, like this Instant Pot Pumpkin Soup or Roasted Tomato Leek Soup.

Did you make this Homemade Food Scrap Vegetable Broth? Leave a comment below and rate the recipe to let us know how it turned out. Save this vegetable broth recipe for later by pinning to your favorite winter Pinterest board and make sure to tag me on Fork in the Road’s Instagram to show me your soup creations!

Yield: 8 servings (2 cups each)

Homemade Food Scrap Vegetable Broth

a blue soup pot with bright green red, and yellow vegetables inside on a white table

Homemade Food Scrap Vegetable Broth, an easy homemade soup broth recipe using vegetable food scraps. Repurpose food by stocking up on this simple vegetable stock!

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes


  • 4 cups vegetables scraps (onion, celery, carrots, herbs, garlic, etc.)
  • 8 cups (1.8 liters) water
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper


  1. To a large soup pot, add vegetable scraps, water, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil, then simmer on low for 30 minutes.
  2. Remove pot from heat and strain out vegetables, keep the broth. Use immediately, or let cool and freeze for later use.
  3. To thaw from frozen: let broth container cool in refrigerator one day ahead of using, or leave on counter for a few hours and then add to a soup pot over low heat to melt the rest of the frozen broth


  • Notes: The possibilities for vegetable scrap soup are endless, use any food scraps or vegetables that you have on hand. Adding herbs, garlic, salt, and pepper will always help to boost flavor.
  • Tools Needed: a large soup pot, strainer, glass storage containers
  • Prep Ahead: make this homemade vegetable stock weeks, or even months, ahead of time. Freeze and defrost before using.
  • Leftovers and Storage: let vegetable broth cool and then freeze in glass storage containers for up to three months (possibly longer)
  • Nutrition notes: nutrition information for broth after vegetables are strained. Depending on the vegetables used, this broth will have a different nutrition profile.

Nutrition Information:

Serving Size:

1 serving (2 cups)

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 19Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 239mgCarbohydrates: 5gFiber: 1gSugar: 0gProtein: 1g