homemade vegetable broth.

If you tend to purchase vegetable broth, here's a simple way to make it yourself - just in time for all of that holiday cooking. Making broth at home saves three times: vegetable scraps from going to waste, money spent at the grocery store, and packaging from the landfill.

Here's how: At the end of the week, look in your fridge for stalks of yellowing vegetables, forgotten leaves, tops of discarded roots. Or, save your vegetable scraps from the week in a big bowl in your fridge, until you have enough to fill a soup pot. Use whatever you have on hand: I usually fill my stock pot with onion and garlic skins, the tops of carrots, squash, and peppers, tomato cores, kale stems, and springs of any dried or fresh herbs that I happen to have. Fill the pot with water and a big pinch of salt, cover, and let it simmer for an hour or until it tastes strongly flavorful.

Strain the broth into glass jars, setting aside the vegetables for the compost bin. Stored in the fridge, the broth will keep for a week. In the freezer it will keep for months, so you needn't ever go without a jar on hand. I use the broth as the base for soup, of course, and also find that grains and beans cooked in it become richer and tastier.