S is for Soup! How to make your own vegetable soup stock.


For me, there is nothing that makes the transition from fall to winter easier than the smell of soup simmering on the stove (and warming my belly). I’ve learned that the right soup stock can make all the difference, and making your own stock can be easy and affordable.

Cook often with carrots, celery or onions? Save these vegetable scraps in your fridge or freezer. When you feel like soup, pull these out to make your own homemade soup stock. Below is a basic recipe for making your own soup stock, along with a seasonal soup recipe that we made at Bayers Westwood Family Resource Centre this month.

Serving size: Approximately 5 cups of soup stock.


  • 6 Cups Water (less water will mean a stronger stock – just make sure the veggies are covered with water when cooking)
  • 2 cups chopped onions (or onion scraps)
  • 2 cups chopped celery (or celery stalk scraps)
  • 2 cups chopped carrots (or carrot scraps)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Fresh Herbs (Thyme, rosemary, and/or parsley). Can also use dry herbs, but not ground. Optional.
  • 2 tsp whole peppercorns

Feel free to experiment with different ingredients and don’t worry too much about ratio of veggies to use. A general rule of thumb is to use equal parts carrots, onion, and celery (the superstar trio when it comes to making soup stock), but you can also use parsnip, mushrooms, and other spices. Remember this is just a base for adding more flavor to your soups later.


  1. Sauté veggies and garlic in oil for about 10 minutes. This is optional, but will add more flavour.
  2. Add water with remaining ingredients, and bring to a simmer (barely boiling) for 45-60 minutes.
  3. Strain the stock and use in a soup recipe or store for future use.
Stock ingredients ready!

Stock ingredients ready!

Stock ingredients covered with water and ready to be simmered

Stock ingredients covered with water and ready to be simmered

Ingredients strained from the stock once they have been simmered for 45-60 min.

Ingredients strained from the stock once they have been simmered for 45-60 min.

Seasonal Tomato Soup Recipe

Serving Size: 6


  • 4 cups of canned tomatoes (we used the insides of tomatoes we saved during our salsa making workshop in October!)
  • 6 cups of vegetable soup stock
  • 4 cloves garlic, diced or crushed
  • 2 cups Carrots, chopped
  • 2 cups Onions, chopped
  • 2 cups Cabbage, chopped
  • 1/2 Cup Red lentils
  • Olive oil
  • 3 TBS grated ginger (optional)

*If you don’t have carrots or cabbage, this soup will still taste delicious. Experiment with what you have on hand and discover what you prefer!


  1. Sauté onions and garlic with oil until they become soft
  2. Add soup stock and tomatoes to the onions and garlic. Bring to a simmer.
  3. Add carrots, cabbage, and ginger
  4. When the carrots and cabbage are tender, add the red lentils to the soup.

When red lentils are cooked (about 15 minutes), turn heat off and enjoy!

Jen Organ, Community Food Programmer, The Our Food Project,  Ecology Action Centre 

jenorgan [at] ecologyaction.ca 


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