Zero-Waste Broccoli Chowder with Ditalini

Recipe courtesy of Chef Yury Krasilovsky.

The zero-waste broth made with kitchen vegetable scraps adds a delicious earthy flavor to this hearty meatless chowder.

For the broth:
2 cups carrot peels
4 cups onion skins or leek tops
3 cups mushroom stems
10 black peppercorns
1 pound Barilla Ditalini
4 medium yellow onions, diced
5 pounds broccoli stems, finely chopped
1 quart prepared zero-waste broth
4 rosemary stems
Salt and white pepper to taste
1-1/2 cups sliced green onions
1 gallon water
2 cups celery bottoms
1/2 cup parsley stems
2 bay leaves
For the chowder:
1 cup unsalted butter
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 pounds potato scraps
1 quart whole milk
4 thyme stems
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  1. For zero-waste broth: Combine all ingredients in large stockpot; bring to a boil on medium heat.  Reduce heat to low; cover and cook 30 min. skimming scum from surface as needed.  Cool; strain through fine mesh sieve.
  2. For chowder:  Bring salted water to boil in steam-jacketed kettle or large stockpot on stovetop.  Add pasta; for half the time directed on package. Drain.
  3. Meanwhile, heat butter and onion in large stockpot on medium heat. Cook 4-6 min. or until onion is translucent.  Add flour; cook 1-2 min. or until the flour reaches a blond color.  Stir in broccoli stems, potato scraps, stock, milk and herb stems; bring mixture to a boil.  Reduce heat to low; cover and cook for 10 min. Remove from heat.
  4. Cool slightly; season to taste with salt and white pepper.  Blend pot with immersion blender until smooth.
  5. Serve garnished with cheese and green onions.