By Amy Baker

The weather is cooling, days are growing shorter and our bodies are beginning to crave the warm, sustaining foods of autumn and winter.  Nourishing broths are some of the most comforting and versatile things we can incorporate into our daily diets.  

Making broths is easy and fun.  You likely have many of the ingredients on hand right now to get you started.   With a few additions you may not have considered, though, you can take your broth from simply good to a fortifying, immune-boosting elixir.  

Following are recipes to get you started, along with a list of herbal additions and the benefits they bring.   Follow the recipes closely or use them as springboards for your own creations.   All broths should be quickly cooled and refrigerated or frozen as soon as possible after cooking.  

May your kitchens be filled with the healing fragrance of plants and the love that you bring to the preparation.  Happy cooking!

Tips for reducing waste and watching your budget:

  • Save veggie trimmings you would normally throw away in a bag or container in the freezer. Make sure they’ve been cleaned, of course, and never use anything wilted or brown.   Good additions:  leek tops and bottoms, potato and carrot peels, winter squash seeds and membranes, roasted squash skins, kale ribs, chard stems, lettuce, corn cobs, mushroom ends, parsley and cilantro stems,  summer squash and asparagus ends, greens from root veggies.  Stay away from: broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, brussel sprouts, rutabagas, onions skins, red beets.  
  • Save bones and carcassesThink about chicken and turkey after roasting, sirloin or pork chop bones.  Scrape all the congealed juices into your freezer bag.
  • Ask your farmer and butcher about bones and lesser-used animal parts like necks, wings and feet (chicken feet are great sources of collagen).
  • Look outside!  During a large part of the year, there are plenty of wild-growing plants that can be added to broths.  Make sure you know how to properly identify the plants before harvesting and using.   

Tips for cooling, storage and use:

  • To quickly cool your broth — especially important to people on a low-histamine diet — strain into a large pan with plenty of room at the top, then set that pan in a sink filled with cold water (not enough for the pan to float).  Stir the broth until the sink water begins to warm.   If the broth still needs to cool more, change the sink water and repeat.
  • Use broth as a base for soups, stews and sauces, or when cooking grains.  Think of using it anywhere you’d normally add water. 
  • Freeze broth in containers of various sizes, and even ice cube trays, so that you can easily access just the amount you need.



Bone broths are rich in minerals, collagen and gelatin, offering support for skin, bones, joints, connective tissues and the digestive system.   

(bolded ingredients are available at both locations)

2-4 lbs organic meat bones
3- 4 quarts filtered water
1 T sea salt or Himalayan pink salt
3 onions , leeks or a mix, coarsely chopped
3 carrots, coarsely chopped
6 celery sticks, coarsely chopped
5 garlic cloves, smashed
2-3 c chopped vegetable trimmings (optional; see above)
3 T dried astragalus root
1 T dried ginger root (or 3 T chopped, fresh ginger)
1 T dried rosemary (or 2 springs fresh)
1 T dried sage (or 2 sprigs fresh)
1 T dried thyme (or 6 sprigs fresh)
1 T reishi mushroom powder (or high-quality, dried, whole mushrooms)
5 pieces kelp
2 T apple cider vinegar (helps pull minerals from the bones)
1 bunch flat-leaf parsley or cilantro (depending on the taste you’re looking for)

  1. Add bones and vinegar to a large stock pot and add water to just barely cover.  Bring to a boil for 10-15 minutes and remove any scum that forms on the top.
  2. After you’ve skimmed off the scum, add the vegetables and herbs to the pot, along with enough water to cover everything by no more than an inch. 
  3. Cover and cook on the stovetop on low, in a 300-degree oven, or transfer to a slow cooker.  The idea is to keep it at a low simmer, the longer the better (6 to 24 hours).    Instant Pot/pressure cooker users can cook on high pressure for four hours. 
  4. When broth has finished cooking, carefully strain into a different pan and cool.  Store for no more than five days in the refrigerator or six months in the freezer.   



Veggie broth contains high doses of minerals that support bone and connective tissue healing 

(bolded ingredients are available both locations) 

1 T organic olive oil
1 lg onion or leek, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
2 celery ribs, chopped
6 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
2-3 c vegetable trimmings (see above)
1 T sea salt or Himalayan pink salt
3 T dried astragalus root
1 T dried ginger root (or 3T chopped, fresh ginger)
1 T dried rosemary (or 2 springs fresh)
1 T dried sage (or 2 sprigs fresh)
1 T dried thyme (or 6 sprigs fresh)
10  pieces kelp
1 T reishi mushroom powder (or high-quality, dried, whole mushrooms)
1 bunch flat-leaf parsley or cilantro (depending on the taste you’re looking for)
2-3 quarts filtered water

  1. Heat oil in a large stock pot.  Add veggies and garlic and cook over high heat, stirring frequently, until veggies begin to brown.  Add herbs (except parsley) and mushrooms, and continue to cook until everything turns a rich, dark color.  Add salt.
  2. Add enough water to cover by no more than an inch.  Bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer, uncovered, about 30 minutes.  Note:  unlike meat stocks, vegetable broths don’t benefit from long cooking times.
  3. Strain, cool and store.  This will keep in the refrigerator for up to five days and in the freezer for up to six months.


Astragalus — A  superior adaptogen used to rebuild immune activity.
Garlic  — Anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-fungal; excellent immune support.
Ginger — Anti-inflammatory, immune-boosting, and helpful for digestion.
Kelp — Rich in vitamin B, antioxidants and minerals.
Reishi — Supports Immune system, heart & liver; antioxidant and pre-biotic.
Rosemary — Antioxidant;  supports memory and digestion.
Sage — Antiseptic useful for colds and sore throats; supports digestion.
Salt — Mineral-rich.  Look for sea salt or Himilayan pink salt.
Thyme — Antimicrobial, antibacterial & antiviral; great for respiratory infections.

Amy Baker is a gardener, teacher, wildcrafter, herb enthusiast and an award-winning writer.  She has studied herbal medicine with various teachers in Chicago and Madison, and earned her certification as a Culinary Nutrition Expert and Instructor through the Academy of Culinary Nutrition. Amy has enjoyed creating plant medicines, natural beauty and cleaning products, and all manner of tasty, nutritious, healing recipes for decades.