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Mar 9, 2012 08:37 AM

Why would you ever use anything but Low Sodium broth

I'm lazy, so when I make soups or anything that requires, or could use stock, I buy the broth at the store. I like the Whole Foods 386 brand, it's almost always on sale for $1.99/qt, and the Imagine broth. They both have a low sodium version. The other day I grabbed the wrong kind and made a split pea soup. I had some low sodium at home and ended up using two qt's of each. The low sodium has 140 Mg and the, hmm, I suppose it would be called regular, has close to 600 mg (that works out to be about a tsp of salt). I added no additional salt. Usually I would at least add some while simmering the onions, but not this time.

The soup was just this side of being over salted. I will never buy the regular broth again. If I had used 3 qts of regular it would have been close to inedible, at least for me. I realize everyone has different tolerance for saltiness, but why would anyone use the regular? Isn't it always better to be able to control how much salt is going into your food? I have the same issue with butter, but less so as it is usually not as over salted as the broth. Still, it's such an important part of flavoring, I'd rather control the amount salt. Perhaps it only shows that I have issues. :o)


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  1. You're absolutely right about the big question -- when I don't use my own stock I always use the low-sodium, especially in sauces that are going to be reduced.

    But note that 600 mg is only about 1/4 tsp, not even close to a full teaspoon, which is about 2333 mg.

    1 Reply
    1. re: acgold7

      All I can say is mea culpa. A few years ago I did this conversion and came up with the 600 mg = 1 tsp,just checked and you are right. Once again my math skills let me down. Thank you for correcting.


    2. Agreed. Nice to have as much control over what goes into your dishes. No argument here.

      1. I use normal because I don't always see low-sodiium at the store, and I like things fairly salty anyway.

        1. Price.

          Sometimes the "regular" (i.e. non low-sodium) is cheaper.

          1. I have seen some brands with 600+ mgs of sodium per cup labeled as "reduced sodium." Compared to some "regular" brands, I suppose that's true. Swanson's chicken broth has 860 mgs of sodium per cup, for example, while its "certified organic" version has 550 mgs. College Inn regular has 910, while its "light and fat free" version has 450 mgs.

            I buy Trader Joe's low sodium chicken broth, which has 70 mgs of sodium per cup. It tastes like chicken, not salt.

            If I can't get it and I'm making soup, one of the national brand reduced-sodium products will do in a pinch; I just reduce or eliminate all other salt from the recipe. But if I'm making a sauce or anything else in which the stock would be reduced, I substitute white wine.

            1 Reply
            1. re: bitchincook

              Now that you bring up the per cup measure I think that's where I got the 1 tsp per box as they are 4 cup boxes. Will have to check when I get home.

              Ha! Who needs to go home when you can use the interwebs. It is per cup so one tsp ber box is what I meant to say.

              Normally, when using the low sodium, I will use an additional tsp of salt in a batch of Split pea that has 4 qts of broth.