Zero Waste Vegetable Stock from Marc Pollack

Marc Pollack spent the pandemic documenting the meals he cooked with fresh ingredients from his wife Robin’s garden. Since quarantine prevented him from hosting his favorite dinner parties, he planned to share the recipes with friends. What started as a passion project turned into an actual book, and in December, “CHEZ MARC’S QUARANTINE COOKBOOK” was released. The book includes a tasty compilation of the three daily meals he cooked throughout the pandemic with proceeds benefitting an SHA partner agency, the GATEWAY CENTER. The Gateway Center provides food, support services, and stable housing for people experiencing homelessness.

Be sure to check out Chez Marc’s Quarantine Cookbook to benefit a great cause. In the meantime, get a taste of his cooking by making your own vegetable stock at home. Whipping up some homemade vegetable stock is tastier than store-bought and it can help you reduce food waste at home.

Marc always has leftover ‘ends’ to his vegetables when preparing foundations for dishes, including things like mirepoix (onion, carrot & celery) or the holy trinity (green pepper, celery & onion).  He says, “These make for a great base for vegetable stock, particularly if you add a couple of basic whole vegetables.”


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large onion, cut into quarters, large chunks
  • 1 stalk celery, cut into 2-3 pieces, include some leaves
  • 1 large carrot, cut into 2-3 pieces
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and cut into 2-3 pieces
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • ½ tablespoon dried thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Leftover/Scrap Vegetables: 2 cups of leftover vegetable scraps including onion leftovers, garlic ends, carrot ends & peelings, celery ends & peelings, any other vegetable peelings – squash, zucchini, or whatever, sweet pepper cores, mushroom stems, leftover herbs

If you have used any of the above leftovers from other dishes, rinse off and let dry; wrap in a towel or a lettuce spinner to dry off.  Store in the refrigerator in a large zip lock bag or a Tupperware-like container.  You can keep these in a refrigerator for a week or more.  Keep them until you’ve built up a couple of cups or more, enough to make a nice vegetable stock. You can also store them in the freezer for longer if you don’t often have vegetable scraps.


  • In a large soup pot, put olive oil and the fresh vegetables and herbs.  Sautee for 5-10 minutes on low or medium heat until they are soft and fragrant. 
  • Add 12 cups of water to the pot and all of the above leftover/scrap vegetables. 
  • Add salt and pepper to taste; about 1 tablespoon salt & ½ tablespoon pepper.
  • Cook for 1 hour at medium-low simmer.
  • Let stock cool to room temperature and refrigerate liquid overnight.
  • Drain soup liquid out of the pot for re-use in soups or other dishes requiring stock.

Now you’ve used up your vegetable scraps to create a delicious base for soups, risotto, and more! Refrigerate your stock and use it within a week or you can freeze it for up to six months. Enjoy!