Garlic and Garbage Broth

This is my version of a recipe from ‘The Vegetarian Epicure’ by Anna Thomas – a paperback book so well used in our house that it’s held together with a bulldog clip!

The idea is to use peelings from scrubbed potatoes and those left over bits of celery from the bottom of the fridge! It used to be a great winter staple when I had a wood burning stove with a stockpot always on the go but I have been known to cheat & throw in some chopped spuds instead.

The broth can be used as is, perhaps with noodles, or in many recipes that call for stock. I’ve tried it in minestrone, risotto, mornay, mushroom sauce and as a delicious base for tomato soup with basil & bay leaf. Don’t be afraid to use so much garlic. It really is gentle when simmered in a broth.

Quantities are very approximate. Just add water as it evaporates so that everything is kept covered.


Thick peels from 6 – 8 large potatoes; 2 litres water; sprig of parsley; 1 large onion, chopped; 2 chopped carrots; 1 chopped celery stalk; 1 large or 2 small heads of garlic, broken into cloves & peeled (about 16 cloves); 1 1/2  Tbs. olive oil; 1 bay leaf; salt & pepper; sprig of thyme or sage or … whatever takes your fancy.


Combine all ingredients and simmer very slowly for about 1 & 1/2 hours until all the vegetables are very soft. Strain and adjust seasoning.

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