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Stock: A Soup-er Way To Reduce Food Waste

Updated: Dec 20, 2023

In the U.S., more than 70 billion pounds of food ends up in landfills each year. That’s enough food to feed the residents and visitors of New York City for three and a half years.

What Makes Up Stock?

Food scraps are a major component of municipal waste. Items like vegetable scraps, apple cores, and banana peels are thrown away without a second thought. But what if these items had a second life?

Carrot tops, onion peels, tomato ends, and celery stems can be used to make a simple and tasty vegetable stock. Use the finished product to make soup or to add to other dishes.

*If you eat meat, don't be afraid to save leftover bones too. This turns your vegetable stock into a tasty and useful bone stock.

To make stock, all you need to do is mix your scraps with some boiling water for 1 to 12 hours depending on how strong you want to make your stock. Then remove the processed scraps, and freeze the stock until you’re ready to use.

Love, Leftovers!

Have leftover chopped vegetables, potatoes, or meat? Get creative and toss them in your stock, season and you have yourself a simple, delicious soup!

Vegetable Stock:


Typical Vegetable Scraps

  • Onion skins

  • Carrot tops

  • Celery stalks

  • Tomato ends

Unusual Vegetable Scraps

  • Red Cabbage (will make your stock dark in color and makes a great substitute for beef stock)

  • Cucumber (makes a soft potato-like flavor)

  • Red Peppers (adds a sweet flavor)

  • Corn Cobs (adds a sweet flavor)


  1. Keep a 1-quart zipper bag or clear storage container in your freezer and fill it with vegetable scraps.

  2. Once the container is full, dump the scraps into a pot with 4-quarts of water.

  3. Bring to a boil and then simmer, covered for 1 to 12 hours.

  4. Strain out vegetables and compost or take to a food scrap drop-off site.

  5. Refrigerate the broth for one week or freeze for six months.

  6. Compost the boiled food scraps.

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