We describe a versatile mid-infrared (Mid-IR) spectroscopy system developed to measure the concentration of a wide range of gases with an ultra-low sample size. The system combines a rapidly-swept external cavity quantum cascade laser (ECQCL) with a hollow fiber gas cell. The ECQCL has sufficient spectral resolution and reproducibility to measure gases with narrow features (e.g., water, methane, ammonia, etc.), and also the spectral tuning range needed to measure volatile organic compounds (VOCs), (e.g., aldehydes, ketones, hydrocarbons), sulfur compounds, chlorine compounds, etc. The hollow fiber is a capillary tube having an internal reflective coating optimized for transmitting the Mid-IR laser beam to a detector. Sample gas introduced into the fiber (e.g., internal volume = 0.6 ml) interacts strongly with the laser beam, and despite relatively modest path lengths (e.g., L ∼ 3 m), the requisite quantity of sample needed for sensitive measurements can be significantly less than what is required using conventional IR laser spectroscopy systems. Example measurements are presented including quantification of VOCs relevant for human breath analysis with a sensitivity of ∼2 picomoles at a 1 Hz data rate.