If you hit any search engine and ask that question, you may find different explanations or recipes for what Garbage Soup is. In our house, it is the name given to what is left after you simmer a pot of vegetable scraps all day long with a handful or two of herbs.
It is actually a simple product to make and then reserve or preserve for use later in the kitchen. Especially if you save your vegetable scraps in the freezer over a period of time. This is what we do for a month or two, and sometimes we will even throw in some chicken bones for a bone broth.
It is so simple to do – we keep a gallon sized zipper storage bag in the freezer and then, whenever we cut up vegetables, any pieces of scrap that are not moldy or rotting get tossed into that bag in the freezer. We toss in literally every type of vegetable we can: eggplant, green beans, squash of any and every kind, corn, tomato, potato, carrot, onion, garlic, celery, pea pods, peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, and more. I have even tossed in some hot pepper scraps like jalapenos, too. This is particularly delicious if we have a cold or sore throat! It helps clear the head and heal our throats!
When the bag is full, I will take a large soup pot, fill it with water, pour in the bag of vegetable scraps, bring the water to a good rolling boil, and reduce to simmer. This is the time I tend to throw in any herbs that I want to add. Oregano, basil, salt, pepper, cilantro, parsley, and even garlic powder (especially if there isn’t any garlic scrap in the bag). I like to start this whole pot in the morning so that it has plenty of time to simmer all day long.
In the evening, I strain the vegetable chunks out and any bones if we have added them. One trick I tend to do is use the strainer for the pasta pot for this because it is very easy to just lift out the basket full of scraps and dump them! To do this, you simply pour your scraps from the bag right into the strainer and then very gently lower the strainer into your soup pot when you are starting in the morning.
If you commonly compost your scraps, you CAN still do that when the broth is done simmering – there are some who recommend dumping it all, including animal bones, into the compost heap. We do not – bones can attract rodents, bears, and coyotes to the yard which we prefer to discourage (for OBVIOUS reasons!!)
The broth is allowed to cool and then we pack it into containers for the freezer. I like to store it in 2-3 cup containers because that is often the amount of broth we need in any recipe we make. Then the containers are placed in the freezer until needed! Remember to label them with the date and contents so that you remember to rotate your freezer storage. Some people do pressure can various broths as well – for this, you should check with your local co-operative extension for the current recommendations on this topic. Checking with them will help ensure your family’s health and safety.
Garbage soup is a wonderful treat if you are chilled in winter, maybe instead of an afternoon snack, or in place of a cup of tea or coffee. Also great for anyone feeling a bit under the weather. It is a wonderful comfort food and packed full of deliciousness with all that vegetable flavoring and herbs.
Blessings and Shalom. Judith Garton
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Judith has over 30 years experience in food storage, herbs, essential oils, and prepping. She was a captain in the USAF-AUX, FEMA trained, Community Emergency Response Team member and NRA marksmanship award recipient. She shares her experiences with her readers offering tips and recipes.
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