Well, as it turns out, it's super easy.
I decided to start with vegetable broth, because vegetables are good for you and I try to eliminate meat where possible. After finally mustering some courage, I Googled around and found basically it is just water and vegetables.
I love this because it just uses the "extra" vegetable parts that you normally throw away. Good for the earth and good for you!
And it's super cheap. Instead of paying $1 for a can of broth, you can use something you would normally throw away, getting the broth at a very minimal cost.
And, the kicker for me: oodles less sodium. Due to some health issues I try not to eat too much sodium (plus excessive sodium is bad for everyone). Store-bought broth is packed full of sodium. In fact, over the past year I began buying only organic broth. And not just because it's organic. It has less sodium than even low-sodium non-organic broth. I love that I can control what I am putting into my food.
I think you can use any combination of vegetables that you like, but here's what I used:
16 c. water
1/2 head of cabbage
1 onion, cut in half
4 cloves garlic (I will probably increase that the next time)
3 carrots (don't even bother peeling them!)
1 potato, washed and cut in half
3-4 stalks celery, including leaves
1 broccoli stem
A few leftover mushrooms
Salt and pepper to taste
Dried basil and parsley
Here it all is ready to be made into broth:
Measure your water into a (very large) crock pot. Add the vegetables:
Add salt and pepper to taste. You will probably need quite a bit of salt (but not as much as what's in store bought!):
Then add your herbs. You can use any herbs that your heart desires. I chose parsley and basil because that's what I wanted. You can use fresh if you want, which would probably be better. But I didn't have any of that, so I just used some herbs I had dried earlier this summer:
Drizzle a bit of olive oil on top:
That's it! Cook on low for however long you want. The longer you cook the more the flavors will blend. I think 8-10 hours is a good amount of time.
Once it's cooked, remove all the large pieces then strain the broth. A lot of recipes say to use a sieve to remove all the small pieces, but I don't have one of those. I just strained through a colander, and that worked fine.
See? Wasn't that easy?
I measured mine into 16 oz (which is a little more than a store bought can) servings and froze for use into later recipes! This made about 6 16-oz servings.