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Old 01-23-2018, 11:43 AM
 
Location: Aurora Denveralis
8,713 posts, read 5,530,398 times
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Does anyone have any recipes or tips for making a tasty soup base from bouillon - specifically 'Better Than Bouillon' base, which I have come to adore in cooking? I'd like to be able to whip up good chicken soups without using either can/box broth, a soup mix or making it from scratch. (Specifically... I'd love to be able to turn out good matzo ball soup without a box mix or the labor of making real chicken stock.)

I know that in theory it's just water+bouillon, stir and serve, but I suspect that doesn't really deliver the kind of full-bodied flavor that, say, my chicken and dumplings recipe produces. I confess to not have done much experimentation; looking for savvy advice to start with.

I suspect some finely chopped onion and garlic sautéed in the pan would be a good start, maybe simmer a bit with some carrot and celery shavings... but it probably depends more on a precise measuring of the base, and Cook's and my experience both say it's far more concentrated than the directions indicate.

So - especially any BTB fans - tips? Water/base ratio? Secrets for that soup broth good enough to eat by itself but that doesn't start with a clucking chicken?
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Old 01-23-2018, 12:01 PM
 
Location: Phoenix, AZ > Raleigh, NC
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I've tried several brands of this stuff, including BTB, and canned broths. I never use them anymore unless my homemade stock needs some 'pumping up' or in some other dish I'm cooking that isn't soup. What these are is BROTH. What you need for good soup, like you are describing, is STOCK.

I do make my own stock, but often use the stock in the box. I prefer Kitchen Basics, preferably unsalted. But Progesso makes a good one too, but be careful - it's salty.

We also use chicken stock in a box to mix with the dog's food. He reports that he prefers the chicken flavor Kitchen Basics.

Regarding you specific of matzoh ball soup, I'm half Jewish and grew up in a very Jewish neighborhood. I know Matzoh ball soup and make it often. That said, IMO there's no way to make this stuff without homemade stock. You NEED a little fat floating on the top. You NEED to skim the rest of that fat (schmaltz) to use to make matzoh balls. You ain't gonna get what you want without homemade stock (but using chicken parts instead of a whole chicken IS fine as long as they are not breasts and you leave the skin on).
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Old 01-23-2018, 12:06 PM
 
Location: Las Vegas
14,230 posts, read 28,522,597 times
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I don't think there is any magic recipe. I just taste and add more till I think it's good. And generally speaking anything you add will improve the flavor. Bouillon is basically chemicals, including a lot of salt and it will never be as good as real stock you make yourself. And when I make soup, I add bouillon instead of salt to add flavor.
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Old 01-23-2018, 03:55 PM
 
Location: Aurora Denveralis
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Right, I long ago learned to treat boullion and most commercial stock as nearly all of the salt in a recipe. I have found BTB to be a cut above most equivalents and a lot cheaper/easier to keep around than prepared broths. As much as I'd like to make my own stock - as much as I love the broth and gravy of my soups and stews as much as the other content - I just don't have time to make it or space to store enough of it. So BTB it is.

I will experiment. Making some box matzo soup tonight as a baseline.
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Old 01-24-2018, 05:04 AM
 
Location: Phoenix, AZ > Raleigh, NC
18,584 posts, read 24,956,786 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quietude View Post
Right, I long ago learned to treat boullion and most commercial stock as nearly all of the salt in a recipe. I have found BTB to be a cut above most equivalents and a lot cheaper/easier to keep around than prepared broths. As much as I'd like to make my own stock - as much as I love the broth and gravy of my soups and stews as much as the other content - I just don't have time to make it or space to store enough of it. So BTB it is.

I will experiment. Making some box matzo soup tonight as a baseline.
Umm, by "boxed" you mean boxed stock, correct? Not this Manashevitx boxed crap?

https://www.amazon.com/MANISCHEWITZ-.../dp/B001EO5X7G
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Old 01-24-2018, 11:50 AM
 
Location: Aurora Denveralis
8,713 posts, read 5,530,398 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jkgourmet View Post
Umm, by "boxed" you mean boxed stock, correct? Not this Manashevitx boxed crap?
It was worth a try, and on sale.
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Old 01-25-2018, 11:19 PM
 
Location: Mid-Atlantic
31,236 posts, read 32,237,241 times
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Mirepoix and a bouquet garni. Sacrifice some vegetables and herbs.
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Old 01-26-2018, 06:08 AM
 
20,309 posts, read 6,104,785 times
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Add some powdered gelatin or a small spoon of starch slurry.
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