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Dec 7, 2011 07:26 PM

replacement for chicken stock in lentil soup

I plan to make the Barefoot Contessa Lentil Vegetable Soup (recipe below) tomorrow but I dont have any chicken stock on hand. Right now I'm planning to just use water, but looking for suggestions on a good replacement. Any suggestions? I'm worried that water may make the soup bland! (Other recipe suggestions are welcome too - but trying to get rid of some leeks!)

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  1. Do you keep any Better than Bouillon soup base around? Any actual bouillon? You can flavor plain water with either of those. Don't add salt to the soup, though.

    4 Replies
    1. re: sueatmo

      I've got Trader Joe's vegetable broth concentrate...
      Bought it to try it but I'm not a huge fan.

      1. re: morrissey.brendan

        Trader Joe's veggie concentrate is a poor substitute for Better than Bouillon soup base and, IMO, using those little cubes of plain bouillon would be an insult to your prepared dish.
        Better than Bouillon should be a staple (you can get it in both chicken and/or beef) for any kitchen. Run out and get some and, while you're out, pick up some boxed chicken broth.
        Nothing I can think of would be worse than plain water in preparing a lentil soup .

        1. re: todao

          Penzey's carries many flavors of soup base, which I suspect is the same or quite similar to Better than Bouillon soup base. I believe they carry turkey and ham flavors.

          1. re: todao

            +1 on better than bouillon. they also make a vegetable base that's quite good. and, fwiw, i prefer the turkey base.

      2. When I makeNew England Boiled Dinner aka Corned Beef and Cabbage, I save the liquid for lentil soup.


        1 Reply
        1. re: rich in stl

          Yum - reminds me of something my mom would do back in Boston! Wish I had some on hand.
          There is nothing better than a peeled potato cooked in that liquid...

        2. If you have any pork product--bacon, proscuitto, ham--brown it up slightly and then use to flavor just plain water.

          1. There are lots of flavorful items in that soup. The stock probably contributes the least, except for its water content. I'm surprised she says nothing about the expected salt content of the stock (none, low salt commercial, regular?), or remind you to tweak the salt level. Make it with water, and adjust salt till it is no longer bland.

            1. I like to add beer or wine. Or V8 juice. Just never plain water.