There are two easy steps you can take to reduce the water footprint of the food you eat: cut back on meat and animal products, and use every part of what you eat.  I cook for myself pretty frequently, and one ingredient I use time and again is broth.  Substituting vegetable broth for beef or chicken broth makes soups and sauces vegetarian, plus making homemade broth is a way to get use out of otherwise wasted peels and rinds.

The instructions below aren’t a recipe in the traditional sense: there’s no “six carrots” or “one tablespoon garlic” or whatever.  Instead, it’s a template in the most basic sense, a guideline so you can take those scraps and stubs that usually wind up in the trash, and toss them in a pot instead for a hearty, healthy, virtual-water free broth.

Vegetable Broth

Save whatever bits of the vegetables you don’t intend to eat: peels, ends, stems, etc.  The more variety you can include, the more flavorful your broth will be.  Suggested veggies include potatoes, onions, carrots, celery, tomatoes.

Include the following spices, to taste: garlic (fresh or powdered), rosemary (fresh or powdered), parsley, salt, and pepper.

Accumulate enough veggies to fill a stock pot about 1/3 to ½ full.  Fill the rest of the way with water.

Boil over low heat 2-3 hours.  Drain, saving the liquid as your broth.

If you use only scrap vegetables, this broth will have no water footprint.