A couple of weeks ago Meijer failed me... in three consecutive trips. For some reason, completely unknown to me, the chicken/vegetable/beef broth/stock shelves were completely empty. I mean no expensive organic kind, no fully sodium-ed store brand, nothing. It was so weird. It was at this point that I thought, I gotta make some homemade broth/stock for my freezer so I never have this problem again. I also thought to myself, why purchase a whole bunch of extra veggies to use up in stock when every day when I cut up vegetables for recipes, I end up throwing parts of them away. So at this point, I started collecting my vegetable scraps in the freezer. I collected a whole gallon sized freezer bag of potato skins, onion skins, mushroom stems, carrot ends, celery pieces and such. Then I threw them all into a big pot, covered them with water, added some herbs (thyme, parsley and peppercorns), and simmered away for 1 hour. After straining and cooling I had myself a bunch of vegetable broth to be used in so many dishes.
This is so easy that you should really do it! The skins of the onion give it the beautiful brown color, so make sure not to skimp on them. Also make sure that you do include carrots and celery (potentially cut up some extra to add in) because they will make the broth more hearty. I wouldn't suggest using any super strongly flavored vegetables like cabbage or brussels because they will probably take over the flavor. Also, make sure that you do not include any vegetables that have become rotten!
Homemade Vegetable Broth
Gallon ziplock bag of vegetable scraps such as potato skins, celery, carrots, onion (red or yellow with skin), bell pepper, mushroom stems, corn cobs etc.
2-3 garlic cloves, whole and peeled
Fresh herbs such as thyme, parsley, basil, oregano, etc.
3 whole peppercorns
Cold water to cover vegetables
Collect vegetable pieces over the course of a few weeks to months in a ziplock bag in the freezer. When the bag is full, dump it into a large stock pot and cover with cold water. Add the garlic, herbs and peppercorns. Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer for 1 hour, uncovered.
Strain the broth and cool to room temperature. Aliquot into freezer bags and ice cube trays and freeze.
Use in place of chicken or vegetable broth in whatever recipe you desire.