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Veggie Soup Base? [moved from The Best board]

What is your fav vegetarian soup base? I'm not thrilled with a lot of the ones I've tried. Too much salt/not enough flavor.

I'm making veggie matzoh ball soup, if that helps...

Thanks!

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  1. Have you tried making "vegetarian demi glace"? I know it sounds like an oxymoron, but it is pretty good.

    Both of these come out about the same:
    http://www.christianchefs.org/newslet...
    http://www.fuquayinn.com/RECIPES/vege...

    Of course this stuff will NOT taste much like kosher chicken soup, and the color is not ideal for a matzo ball soup (pretty dark...) BUT I suspect that if you thin the demi-glace down with a pre-made organic vegetable stock/bullion it will lighten up to an acceptable color. You might try to substitute a really oakey, chardonnay for red, I think any wine adds a lot of flavor/carries the other flavors and a white would lighten it too.

    There is a commercial version of this available that is surprisingly tasty, though I am not sure it is really worth the price as you can make quarts of the stuff for pennies : http://www.amazon.com/Vegetarian-Demi...

    I guess they have a lighter color stock now too: http://www.amazon.com/Vegetarian-Demi...

    have not tasted it, but based on their demi glace it will blow away anything sold at the grocer

    1. "Imagine" vegetable stock. Used to be available at TJ's, now available at most good supermarkets.

      1 Reply
      1. re: sally from LA

        Imagine Foods also has a "No-Chicken Soup" stock that's pretty good. More flavor. I have used it for my matzoh ball soup in the past with mixed reaction. I like it a lot, but others seem more tied to a 'real' vegetable broth.

      2. Thanks so much to you both; I'll def try the "demi glace". The Imagine, among others, has too much sodium for my taste. I recently found a brand called Rapunzel that has a good, if not prominent taste, but is low in sodium. I'd def recommend it.

        1 Reply
        1. re: cestmoi15

          i use rapunzel no-salt-added cubes as well and i think they work pretty well, especially when making rice. vogue cuisine also makes a product that, if you can find it, works well. it's called vegebase. it's not sodium free, but i believe it's relatively low in sodium compared to other products: http://www.voguecuisine.com/product.html

          if you have access to a cheap source of produce you could also buy a bunch of vegetables, throw them into a pot of water, strain, and reduce... it's pretty easy and you can control the amount of sodium in there.

          i like vegetarian demi-glace but i wouldn't recommend it for matzoh ball soup... especially with all the faux chicken powders that are out there...

        2. maybe a bit late, but I love Vegeta Gourmet Stock Powder, also sautee your onions and ALWAYS use celery in your soup, even if (like me) you don't like celery, just put the whole stalks in and take them out once they're cooked, celery gives any soup a great flavour. Keep any extra celery stalks cleaned and cut in a bag in the freezer and just pull out how ever much you want when you want it!!

          1. We use Vogue veggie base, available at WFM.

            1 Reply
            1. re: lgss

              We also love Vogue's vegebase. It is available at Vogue Cuisine's web site (www.voguecuisine.com) but we can also buy at our local Fred Meyer. They have other vegetarian/vegan bases flavors too (but not all can be found in the store although they are all listed on the web), like the vegetarian chicken and onion - pretty low in sodium with good flavors.

            2. The 101cookbooks blog has a recipe for vegetarian "bouillon cube" that is home-made and looks delicious, though I haven't yet tried it.

              1. What I do is saute some onions and salt in oil, then add water and fresh garlic and herbs from provence (rosemary, thyme, bay leaf, and oregano) and more salt, and let it boil for a while. If I'm feeling fancy, I'll scoop the herbs and garlic out with a strainer so they aren't in the way when eating.

                Even onions and salt and water, with nothing else, makes a surprisingly flavourful broth.

                I haven't found a powdered vegetarian soup base that I like.

                1. I'm pretty happy with Penzeys chicken and beef soup bases but haven't tried the veggie. Anyone had luck with it?

                  1. The tastiest vegetable soup concentrate was Morga vegetable bouillon cubes, my family's go-to base for any and all soups & many casseroles over a period of decades. But the parent company became financially vulnerable and was gobbled up by some corporate conglomerate, who promptly stopped making it. Bastards.

                    I use Rapunzel now, as a sort of pale substitute; I have to use half again as much of it for adequate strength but the flavor balance is not bad. The Better Then Bouillon vegetable flavor is fair too. But for my taste nothing will equal Morga.