Recently on a forum I belong to, we got into a short discussion about soup base, because someone was asking about making homemade chicken soup. A few months back, here, I posted a recipe for homemade turkey soup, using the leftover turkey carcass. But the truth is, for many of my recipes–and for any recipe calling for chicken broth–I use a soup base. In fact, on my chili recipe you’ll see that one of the ingredients is beef base.

Soup bases are a concentrated paste of flavor that, when mixed with water, create a broth or a stock. They come in a variety of flavors. The main three are probably chicken, beef and vegetable. But you can also get ham, turkey, seafood, and pork. There may be others out there I’m not aware of as well.

Once it’s opened, soup base usually needs to be refrigerated, but it’s well worth the space in your fridge to store a small jar of soup base. For every recipe that calls for broth, you can mix hot water and base to create the right amount of broth–much, much cheaper than buying it by can, and much tastier than the bullion cubes.

Not only that, but using the base allows you to control both the sodium level in your dish (which you can’t do with pre-made broth) and the intensity of flavor. With base on hand, you’ll always have the beginnings of soup stock/broth. Just add pasta and veggies and serve!

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