MawMaw never wasted anything, and neither do I. Remember those vegetable stumps we threw into the garbage bowl after cleaning the vegetables, or that time we made Eddie’s chicken gumbo? Well, now we’re going to make a vegetable stock with them – it’s easy to make and so much more cost-efficient than expensive commercial broths that are loaded with sodium.

Here are my vegetable stumps in the garbage bowl.

Dump the stumps into a pot and fill the pot with water until the stumps are covered. I’ve added a gallon of water to this pot. If I don’t have onion skins and celery tops, I add an onion and a stalk of celery to add flavor. Adjust the recipe to the amount of vegetables you have by using a smaller/larger pot and less/more water. Add the seasonings (to taste): bay leaf, pepper, and garlic.

Voilà –  it’s that simple. Add salt too, if you’d like, but I don’t. I do that when I actually add it to whatever I’m cooking.

Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium and simmer until the liquid is reduced by half. I started with a gallon of water, so this will make two quarts of broth.

Strain the broth. The vegetables are reduced to a soggy mess…

and a beautiful russett broth. Let it cool,

then store for later use in plastic containers. It will last for about a week in the refrigerator or a couple of months in the freezer.

I use a stock in place of water for almost every recipe. It adds flavor, is easy to make, and costs nothing – so why not?