1 parsnip, peeled and chopped
1 potato, peeled and cubed
2 celery stalks, chopped
3 cloves garlic, crushed
2 bay leaves
10 whole peppercorns
5 whole cloves
8 cups water

One of the best uses for a slow-cooker is making vegetable broth. You can control the amount of sodium and the variety of vegetables and seasoning, and the broth can develop a full, rich flavor in the slow-cooker while you busy yourself elsewhere. This recipe depends on browned onion for a hearty flavor and parsnip for a subtle sweetness, but you can experiment with your own vegetable combinations. 1 onion, peeled and chopped 1 carrot, peeled and chopped.


  • In a sauté pan, heat 1/4 cup water to a simmer. Add chopped onion, and sauté until water has evaporated. Continue to cook, stirring often to loosen onion from the pan, until onion is well browned, adding a bit of water if necessary, about 15 minutes.
  • Combine browned onion with remaining ingredients in a slow-cooker. Cover, and cook on low for 6 to 10 hours (a longer cooking time will result in a stronger broth).
  • Strain out and discard or compost vegetables, bay leaves and spices. Cool broth, then refrigerate for up to 5 days or freeze in small portions.


makes about 2 quarts
preparation time: 20 minutes
cooking time: 6 to 10 hours