Transform leftover vegetable scraps into a flavor packed broth. Perfect for homemade soups and even freshly baked onion rolls.
To celebrate Earth Day (4/22) this months Recipe Redux is looking for ways to reduce food waste.
One great way to reduce food waste is to compost, which transforms organic waste into a nutrient rich soil. This can be done in your own backyard or through community composting opportunities. I’ve been holding onto weekly food scraps and dropping them off at my local farmers market for a while now.
But, a growing collection of veggie scraps has me thinking…could there be another use for them before their exit from the kitchen?
Enter, the scrap broth.
Saving Food Scraps
The next time you’re preparing dinner, consider keeping the top/bottom/skin from your vegetables—whatever you would normally trash—to turn into a vegetable broth. Be sure that the veggies you’re saving are clean (wash them first) and discard anything that may have gone bad or still looks dirty. Collect the scraps in a resealable container stored in the freezer. Once full, these “kitchen scraps” combined with water transform into a flavorful vegetable broth. Save as much or as little as you wish before re-purposing the scraps.
Scraps To Save
- carrot, parsnip and potato peels
- Ends from asparagus, green beans, celery, squash and scallions
- mushrooms stems
- onion and garlic skins
- herb stems (parsley, cilantro, dill)
- 2 lbs. frozen vegetable scraps (my version had red + white onion skins, asparagus + scallion ends, carrot peels)
- 10 cups water
- ½-¾ teaspoon salt
- Place vegetable scraps and water into a large soup pot. Season with ½ teaspoon salt. Cover with a lid and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 1–2½ hours before removing from heat. Strain out the vegetables and adjust the broth seasoning to taste (may taste a little bitter). The broth can be used immediately or cooled and kept refrigerated (1-2 days). Freeze any additional broth.
Scrap Vegetable Broth Uses
Once you have the broth, it can be used in a number of different ways. Most obvious would have to be in homemade soups. However you can add more flavor to a dish by substituting it for the water in recipes—like cooking grains or beans. It can even be used in baking. These double onion rolls are not only filled with an onion and poppy seed mixture, but the dough was made with the scrap vegetable broth too. Instead of proofing the yeast to make the rolls with water, the scrap broth was used. Pretty amazing what can be made from what would have been trash, right?!
- ½ cup vegetable stock
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- ½ cup white whole wheat flour
- 1 envelope rapid rise instant yeast
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- ½ teaspoon sea salt + more to taste
- 1 egg
- 1 cup minced onion
- 2 teaspoons poppy seeds
- ½ teaspoon maple syrup
- Place the vegetable stock and butter into a small saucepan. Heat 2-4 minutes to melt the butter. Meanwhile in a large mixing bowl, stir together the flours, yeast, sugar and ½ teaspoon salt. Make sure the stock is warm to the touch before adding to the dry ingredients along with the egg. Use a spoon to combine the ingredients as much as possible before switching to using your hands to knead the dough for 6-7 minutes until it forms a tacky dough. Cover and place in a warm area to rise for 10 minutes.
- Add onion to the saucepan. Season with salt. Cook over medium heat 5-7 minutes until translucent. Stir in the poppy seeds and maple syrup. Adjust seasoning to taste.
- Transfer the dough to a piece of parchment paper. Roll out to a 10 x 15 inch rectangle. Spread the onion mixture on top, leaving 1" border on the two longest sides. Cut the sheet of dough in half, creating two 15 x 5 inch pieces. Starting from the middle, roll each piece into a log. Cut both logs into 15 pieces. Place the cut pieces onto a parchment paper line baking tray. Cover and let rise for 20-30 minutes in a warm location.
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Bake the onion rolls for 15 minutes. Lower the oven to 350°F and bake another 15 minutes.