We’re all throwing away too much food. Every year, around the world, around 2.5 billion tons of food is wasted, but around 60 million tons of that comes from the US. Most of this discarded food will end up in the landfill, where it will emit methane, a greenhouse gas 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide. When it comes to reducing all of this waste, food corporations and grocery stores need to take more action. But individuals can make a difference, too, by making more use of food waste at home. And one of the easiest places to start is with vegetable scraps. Yep, the skins of onions, carrots, garlic, and much more can be used to make a nourishing vegetable stock, which can form the base of many delicious vegan recipes (some of which we’ve listed below!).

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Which vegetable scraps are best for making stock?

Making your own vegetable stock is simple, rewarding, more cost-efficient, better for the planet, and nutritious, too. In fact, while the skins of vegetables are often discarded, they often contain plenty of fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants, too. Potato skins contain potassium and vitamin C, for example, and onion peels are loaded with beneficial flavonoids. Both are ideal for making stock, alongside carrot peelings, celery ends, mushroom stems, bell pepper cores, and herb stems. To avoid overpowering flavors, skip strongly flavored vegetables, like cabbage or Brussels sprouts, for example.

RELATED: The Best Way to Cook With Asparagus, a Spring Classic


How to make vegetable stock with scraps

Making vegetable stock from scratch is a straightforward process, simply collect the scraps (you can store them in a freezer bag until you’ve collected enough for your stock), and then chop and rinse them before use. Place them in a large pot on the stove, cover with cold water, and then simmer for around an hour. Pour the stock through a sieve to strain out the vegetables and herbs, leaving you with a clear liquid that is ready for use in cooking.

8 vegan recipes with vegetable stock

Your vegetable scrap stock can be used in many different recipes, and to show you just how versatile it is, we’ve picked just a handful of our favorites below. But you can find more in our extensive recipe database here.

VegNews.BoeufBourguignonVanessa K. Rees

1 Vegan Boeuf Bourguignon in Red Wine Sauce

In this vegan twist on boeuf bourguignon, developed by celebrated vegan chef Miyoko Schinner, homemade garlicky seitan stars in a delicious rich red wine sauce. The latter is made with seven cups of vegetable stock, mushrooms, soy sauce, and many more nourishing, plant-based ingredients.
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2 Vegan Creamy Pumpkin Risotto With Sweet and Spicy Roasted Pepitas

This indulgent vegan creamy pumpkin risotto features a blend of minced onion, arborio rice, and savory vegetable stock. Topped with sweet and spicy roasted pepitas for added crunch, this dish from One Green Planet’s Fall: Plant-Based Recipes to Celebrate Harvest Season cookbook is a flavor-packed meatless masterpiece.
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VegNews.AutumnRisottoLittle Pine

3 Vegan Cashew Cream Autumn Risotto With Crispy Maitakes

This simple yet indulgent recipe combines cashew cream, five cups of stock, roasted maitake mushrooms, and seasonal vegetables to create a creamy, crispy, and flavorful dish. Taken from the Little Pine cookbook by Moby.
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VegNews.GazpachoHannah Kaminsky

4 Herby Vegan Roasted Tomato Gazpacho

Fire-roasted tomatoes, red pepper, onion, and garlic blend with vegetable stock in this recipe—from The Everyday Vegan Cheat Sheet cookbook—to make a savory, flavor-packed chilled gazpacho soup.
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VegNews.AsparagusLeekMinestroneLauren Kretzer

5 Vegan Asparagus Leek Minestrone Soup

Perfect for cool evenings, this vegan asparagus leek minestrone soup is a tasty mix of garlic-infused asparagus, leeks, and hearty white beans, all of which are simmered in vegetable stock to create a nutrient-rich, comforting bowl.
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VegNews.GingerGarlicNoodleSoupJessica Randhawa

6 Vegan Ginger Garlic Noodle Soup With Bok Choy

If you’re feeling under the weather, you can’t beat a hearty bowl of ginger garlic noodle soup, loaded with nutritious, comforting ingredients, including bok choy. If you want more protein, you can also add extras, like tofu, for example.
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VegNews.ChileatoleIgnacio ‘Nacho’ Urquiza

7 Vegan Zucchini Flower Chileatole (Corn Soup)

From The Mexican Vegetarian Cookbook, this traditional pre-Hispanic soup is thickened with masa, and features tender corn, zucchini flowers, and mild Oaxacan pasilla chiles, all of which are combined in a hearty, flavorful vegetable stock.
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