Easy homemade vegetable broth is far superior to the store stuff in cans and boxes. It takes just 7 minutes in an Instant Pot or pressure cooker and about 45 minutes on the stove top. Use it anywhere you use broth. It's great in soups and stews, risotto, and for cooking rice and quinoa. Make a batch and freeze it in portions.
Why Make Homemade Vegetable Broth
Because it's tastes better and it's healthy. At the store you’ll find vegetable broth in boxes, cans, cubes, pastes and powders. With chicken broth you can find decent tasting store brands to use in a pinch. Vegetable broths can taste metallic, musty, sour, salty, and not even like vegetables with poor quality ingredients.
Homemade tastes great and is guaranteed to be healthy. It's so easy in either an Instant Pot (pressure cooker) or on the stove top.
Read the Labels on Store Brands
Read labels on store brands of vegetable broth. They may contain high fructose corn syrup, partially hydrogenated oils, sugar, high sodium levels, dextrose, yeast extract, hydrolyzed soy protein, and flavor-enhancing food additives, MSG and mystery flavorings. Really?
One cooking magazine reported that “vegetable broths tend to be made from the ugly ducklings of the produce world—vegetables that, while not spoiled, are unsuitable for sale as whole vegetables or vegetable parts”. They also report some broths are not even made from fresh vegetables, but use powdered vegetable content. It might really be vegetable extracts, concentrates, or powders. No thanks.
Homemade Vegetable Broth Ingredients
For a full flavored homemade vegetable broth, buy 2 fresh tomatoes, a head of garlic, half pound of brown or white mushrooms, carrots, celery, fresh thyme and Italian parsley, leeks and onion. For the leeks, use the top dark green part for the broth and save the light green part for cooking.
Cooking Methods: Instant Pot or Stove Top
If you go the traditional method of simmering on the stovetop, it will take about an 45 minutes. Not too bad – but there is a faster way. Use an Instant Pot or pressure cooker. For speedy vegetable broth, it takes just 7 minutes at high pressure. The broth is a rich golden color with pure vegetable flavor. Use vegetable broth immediately, or cool, refrigerate or freeze. Chilling directions are at the end of the recipe. You'll need black peppercorns too, but no salt.
Broth seasoning professional tip: Never add salt to broths when cooking; add them to the dish you when cooking.
- large pot or Instant Pot or other electric pressure cooker
- 3 quarts filtered water
- 2 large fresh tomatoes chopped into large chunks
- 1 head garlic cut in half across the center
- ½ pound fresh mushrooms rinsed and cut in quarters
- 4 large carrots scrubbed clean and roughly chopped
- 2 green tops from 2 leeks save the bottoms to cook with or use 1 whole leek
- 3 celery ribs roughly chopped
- 1 medium onion roughly chopped
- 1 bay leaf
- ½ bunch fresh parsley
- ½ bunch fresh thyme
- 1 teaspoon dried black peppercorns
- In a 6-8 quart pressure cooker, add the water and all ingredients, tomatoes through fennel stalks (if using). Lock the pressure cooker lid on and bring to high pressure. When the pot gets to high pressure, turn heat down to low and time for 7 minutes. The pressure gauge should stay up. If not, increase the heat just a tiny bit and watch that the gauge stays up. This may vary by range or cooktop.
- After 7 minutes at high pressure, remove the pot from the heat and allow the pot to sit until the pressure drops naturally. If it has not dropped in 20 minutes, release any pressure naturally by placing the pot under cold running water until it releases. Remove the lid, being careful to position the lid away from your face, and open the pot. Use broth right away or cool to store or freeze.