Low Sodium Crockpot Vegetable Broth

a slow cooker Oval Crock Pot

An Oval Crock Pot (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’ve been making this for years, even before the heart attack, mostly because I’m too cheap to buy pre-made vegetable broth.  I also do something similar with chicken.

I save all my vegetable scraps such as carrot peelings, celery ends, onion skins, garlic skins and ends, bell pepper scraps, ends from trimming cabbage, trimmings from tomatoes, broccoli stalks.

Belonging to a CSA farm, we get lots of veggies during the summer.

I put all the peelings in a Ziplock Freezer 1 gallon bag and save them in the freezer, and keep adding to the big bag until it’s full.

When I’ve gathered a  couple of full bags, I take them out and dump them in the crock pot and fill with water (about 6 quarts), cover and set on LOW for overnight.

Allow to cool completely and ladle into a colander in it with a big bowl under it.   Discard all the scraps in the colander.

Package up the broth into quart-sized Ziplock freezer bags, 2 cups per bag, canning jars or other freezable containers.

You can also freeze some of the broth in an ice cube tray. Pop out the cubes and put in a freezer bag, labeled and dated. Use these when a recipe calls for 1 to 2 Tbsp. of stock or broth.

To use this with chicken – I do all of the above and save chicken bones and parts in a separate freezer bag,  When it’s time for the crockpot, I add the chicken to the veggies and cook overnight.  Strain well!

Reduced-sodium Tomato Soup

The original recipe:

Ingredients for heart healthy homemade tomato soup:

  • 1 can (15-ounces) reduced-sodium tomato sauce or crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup sodium-free or reduced-sodium vegetable broth
  • 2 cups fat-free milk
  • 2 Tablespoons Smart Balance or Olivio Light buttery spread or similar heart healthy buttery spread
  • ½ to 1 Tablespoon granulated white sugar
  • ¼ to ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground pepper
  • You can also add rice

In a medium saucepan on medium heat, melt the Smart Balance or Olivio Light

  • Add vegetable broth, canned reduced-sodium tomatoes, salt, sugar and pepper to the saucepan. Stir to incorporate. Over medium-low to medium heat, bring mixture to a slow bubble, but do not allow mixture to reach a boil.
  • Add the fat-free milk to the tomato mixture in the saucepan. Over medium-low to medium heat, stirring occasionally, bring to a slow bubble for approximately 5 minutes. Do not allow soup to reach a boil.
  • Remove from heat and cover the saucepan; allow soup to sit for 3 to 5 minutes before serving.
  • One cup equals one serving; recipe yields approximately six servings

Adapted from The Examiner


My version:

Ingredients for heart healthy homemade tomato soup:

  • 1 can (15-ounces) reduced-sodium stewed tomatoes
  • 1 cup sodium-free vegetable broth
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • Chunks of red and green pepper
  • 2 cups fat-free milk
  • 2 Tablespoons Olivio Light buttery spread
  • ½ to 1 Tablespoon granulated white sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon Mrs. Dash
  • Leftover rice

In a medium saucepan on medium heat, melt the  Olivio Light

  • Add vegetable broth, canned reduced-sodium tomatoes, onion, peppers, sugar and Mrs. Dash to the saucepan. Stir to incorporate. Over medium-low to medium heat, bring mixture to a slow bubble, but do not allow mixture to reach a boil.
  • Add the fat-free milk to the tomato mixture in the saucepan. Over medium-low to medium heat, stirring occasionally, bring to a slow bubble for approximately 5 minutes. Do not allow soup to reach a boil.
  • Remove from heat and cover the saucepan; allow soup to sit for 3 to 5 minutes before serving.
  • One cup equals one serving; recipe yields approximately six servings