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Suggestions on Making a Faux Chicken Stock/Broth?

I want to make a vegetarian chicken noodle soup. I'd like to not use a vegetable stock. Any tips or suggestions for making a stock that mimics the awesomeness of chicken stock? Thanks in advance!

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  1. I think that by definition you will have a vegetable stock, if you aren't putting any meat products in it.

    I don't think you'll mimic chicken without extensive chemical research, but if you want a rich stock as a base, try making one with mushrooms and onions as a base, and add some of the broth that's left over from cooking dried beans. The bean broth give a richness and depth to the stock that can be hard to get with only vegetables.

    1 Reply
    1. re: tastesgoodwhatisit

      I second the motion!

      I only made a vegetable stock once, but it was delicious. I used soffritto ingredients...onion, celery and carrots sauteed in olive oil along with a rutabaga, chard stems that my wife would have discarded, lots of whole garlic cloves, and whole allspice, juniper berries, and a couple of bay leaves . The latter 3 ingredients were wrapped and bound in cheese cloth for easy removal. After an hour of simmering, I poured off the liquid, got rid of the allspice, juniper berries and bay leaves, and pureed the vegetables which were then added back to the vegetable stock.

      The stock had a great taste, but I did not try to imitate chicken broth. The garlic did the trick because simmering it imparts a delicate flavor. BTW, there was no recipe that I followed. I belong to the "What if....?" school of cooking specializing in "Cuisine Impromptu."

      Reserving bean liquor from cooking dried beans is a good idea. I do that every time I make "Arrabbiata Minestrone Denso", which is every 12 days for that number of breakfasts...YES, BREAKFAST. The minestrone made with beans and barley maintain my cholesterol level at healthy rate...less than 130. BTW, the word "arrabbiata" translates as "angry", a hilarious term I found on a website referring to tomato sauce (it's not "gravy") made with hot peppers. Actually, "piccante" would have sufficed and is not as hilarious.

    2. "Vegetarian chicken noodle soup" is a bit of a oxymoron, isn't it? Just do a vegetarian noodle soup--a mushroom/onion broth would be a great base for it. Throw in tofu or something if you want protein. Voila, soup that even I, a proud carnivore, would dig.

      1. If you roast the vegetables first, getting them nice and caramelized, it makes for a much richer stock ...

        2 Replies
        1. re: CocoTO

          Point taken, I will try it next time I make a vegetable stock...

          1. re: ChiliDude

            I agree. I use this recipe for Roasted Vegetable Stock. I find roasting really deepens the flavour.
            http://www.food.com/356871

        2. A great way to make your stock reminiscent of chicken is to use poultry seasoning-sage in particular. It's very evocative of chicken and turkey.
          Similarly, you can get the flavor of pork sausage by adding fennel to stocks and braises. I recently made a "Sunday ragu" but didn't have sausage, so I made a sachet with fennel seeds and viola! You'd never know I skipped the sausage!

          1. I love the idea of using bean water. I'm definitely taking note of the poultry seasoning.

            My plan for the "chicken" noodle soup is to use this amazing soy chicken I found at the Thai grocery on Hollywood. I have six pounds of onions in the oven as I write, caramelizing. I'll add fresh sage and thyme during the last 15 minutes of cooking. Now that I'm thinking of it, I should throw a head of garlic in with my onions to roast........

            Thanks all!

            1. My best advice to you is to saute some Shitake Mushrooms, garlic, leeks in some hearty EVOO. Then add water and some miso paste (without Dashi) and bring that to a boil and let it simmer for about 1 hour, then remove the 'shrooms, garlic and leeks and you should have a pretty good "chicken-y" broth.

              1 Reply
              1. re: ipsedixit

                I' ve found lots of onions sauteed till golden, carrots, mild oil (not olive), some not too dark miso and plenty of fresh dill gives a great pseudo chicken soup for matzo balls to float in.

              2. Every time I try to make soup without meat or meat broth I'm not happy with the results. So I add either beef or chicken bullion and porcini powder. Maybe the porcini would be OK alone. But you say you have "soy chicken" -- what makes the chicken flavor?

                1. For some reason, even after 4 hours in the oven at 400, my onions never reached that deep caramelization. I was working with three pounds and perhaps the problem was that I overcrowded the pot. I finally gave up, threw in three quarts of water and brought it to a boil. I have to say, all in all, not terrible. Also not the gold I was looking for though. In the end I cheated and fell back on an idea I had a while back: flavor packets from Tradition brand Kosher "chicken" style ramen. I'll be back over the stove again this weekend utilizing all the info offered by everyone. Thanks again!

                  I should also say that celery, carrots, thyme and bay leaves were also roasted along with the onions.

                  Blue Room, the soy chicken I buy at the Thaitown market is described only as "vegetarian chicken flavor". I'm almost positive it's the same product used at Green Leaves Vegan on Hillhurst.

                  Tradition Foods:
                  http://www.traditionfoods.com/kosher_...

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: foodworthy

                    Leaving the skins on the onions or reserving them to throw in the pot can help to give a deeper color.
                    I'm making chicken stock as I write, and decided that for today's batch , I'd throw in Star vegetable bullion. Star also makes porcini boullion.
                    Just a thought to boost flavor!

                    1. re: foodworthy

                      glad you enjoyed your final product, but yes, your instincts are correct - it sounds like you overcrowded the pot or pan, in which case the onions have trouble caramelizing ...

                      1. re: foodworthy

                        For next time, Vegetarian "Better than Bouillon" is a lot better than Tradition ramen packets.