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A good pot of soup with store-bought stock?

Ever since I discovered the wonders of homemade stock, I make a giant batch every week or other week and have been enjoying it daily with quick soups. I'm just wondering because I don't have much experience with soup other than with homemade stock, does anyone make a good pot of soup with store-bought stock? Any favorite brands? My go to favorites are Kitchen Basics unsalted chicken and Trader Joe's low sodium organic chicken broth.

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  1. As it happens, I just made a giant (and I mean giant!) batch of chicken stock yesterday. What are your favorite quick soups?

    1 Reply
    1. re: Westminstress

      Other than chicken noodle which I love, my recent favorites are bean and leafy green soups. This weekend I enjoyed a bacon, kale, lentil and Italian turkey sausage soup on Saturday and a Swiss chard, cannellini bean, kielbasa soup yesterday.

      I also sometimes just drink a mug of stock I love it that much.

    2. I swear by Imagine No-Chicken Chicken Broth.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Berheenia

        This is my favorite type. I am also liking organic Better than bullion vegetable flavor lately.

        1. re: nat8199

          +1 to the organic veg better than bullion

      2. I make stock whenever I can (just made a batch with the carcasses from the halal cart chicken, in fact), but also always have boxes of store-bought broth in the pantry. I like Kitchen Basics, but have been buying the organic brand from Costco ("Home Goodness") lately.

        I use the boxed broth for making split pea with ham soup, since the flavor of homemade stock would get a bit lost with the ham bone simmering in it for so long.

        I also use it as a base for pretty much any roasted veggie soup if I don't have homemade handy: roast veggie of choice, usually along with some garlic and/or onions, plop in Vitamix, add broth, blend.

        1 Reply
        1. re: TorontoJo

          I use the Costco organic stock too for soups. I make more soups than I do stock so I'm always in a deficit situation.

        2. For regular stock that is not low-sodium, I like the Kitchen Basics original, but it is highly seasoned with herbs and spices.

          For low sodium, totally agree with the Kitchen Basics (again) unsalted and (whispers) Better Than Bouillon reduced sodium. The latter is so affordable, and you can dial the flavor up or down by added more or less water. I think I got 9-10qts out of my last little jar (which was $4.50).

          1. I am a Swanson's buyer . . . low-salt version.

            But I have to say, if I know I'm making soup . . .I also buy a rotisserie chicken from the store - strip the meat off - and boil the carcass in the store bought stock for maybe just 20-30 minutes while I'm chopping up everything else.

            It makes a huge difference in taste and doesn't really take any more time than when I just am making soup from home-made stock.

            1. I use Better Than Bullion chicken base because I don't have to cart around and store the water content. If you have a blender or preferably a stick blender you can make a nice warming potage easily by sauteing onion & garlic, add stock (or water) , peeled potatoes and either broccoli or cauliflower. Simmer until vegetables are soft then add some cream and blend until smooth and finish with whole butter and or sour cream or creme fraiche.

              3 Replies
              1. re: zackly

                Second the BTB. I look for the reduced sodium, which is still plenty salty. My NH Costco now sells it in 16oz jars.
                It's also available at www.superiortouch.com

                1. re: greygarious

                  Thanks for the recommendation, I'm loving this stuff. Even mixed into other things like sauteed veggies it's great.

                2. re: zackly

                  I like their organics, too. I do find their mushroom stock a bit weak.

                3. When I'm sick, I love eating soup but I hate cooking it. A box of Kitchen Basics or Pacific low sodium chicken stock, a small bag of frozen tortellini, a small box of frozen chopped spinach, simmered together for a few minutes until the spinach and tortellini are all cooked, then finished off heat with a sprinkling of good Parmesan and a swirl of Extra Virgin Olive Oil. That's comfort in a bowl for me.

                  1. Yes, all the freaking time. I really can't be bothered to make a stock every time I want soup. Particularly for chicken noodle soup, I use commercial chicken broth in which I poach legs & thighs.

                    It comes out great -- I think I mostly use Pacific Natural Organic or something like that, but Swanson works like a charm.

                    1. Sometimes I make stock, sometimes I use chicken or beef base, canned or boxed stock or even no sodium bouillon powder. It really depends on what I have on hand. Last week, I made Brunswick stew; I cooked the rabbits in water in my slow cooker. I also simmered chicken on the stovetop then I reserved the broth from each. On top of that I made a vegetable stock from all the scraps I had stored in the freezer. I then combined the broth and vegetable stock along with tomato juice and just to reinforce the flavors, added a couple bouillon cubes. The soup was fabulous!.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: Cherylptw

                        Yummy! I drank the last of the beef broth last night, so good.

                        1. re: Cherylptw

                          I have a rabbit in my freezer. You just gave me an idea what to do with it--thanks!

                        2. I also tend to buy a chicken at the grocery store or costco if i know i'm going to make a soup....and then make stock from it. and lately i buy chicken wings, freeze them, and have them ready to add for stock. but i do keep purchased stock that i buy at costco and trader joe's as a backup. and it does the job when i don't have homemade. these days, i mostly make avgolemono and/or turkey parmesan meatball soup with orzo and escarole. both very good....and not too heavy.

                          1. I agree with both of your store-bought choices. I make my own chicken stock as well and freeze it, but always have several tetrapak cartons of chicken and beef stocks in my pantry for those times I forgot to defrost a half cup or cup of homemade. It keeps in the fridge for a week or two, and if I don't end up using it up, it then gets frozen as well.

                            1. Manischewitz is the secret to my Chinese soups. It is teeming with the umami and salt that would otherwise take hours to extract from jin hua ham and soup bones.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: JungMann

                                That's a good tip, JM. (You've been absent on the HC board, dude. What's up with that?)

                              2. I use the Kitchen Basics and in particular like the turkey broth. I use both homemade and commercial, it just depends on my time.

                                1. I find it depends on the type of soup.

                                  If I'm making a batch of what I call kitchen sink soup (ie, you throw in everything but the kitchen sink), store bought is fine, because of everything else in there. If I'm making French Onion soup, however, the broth is a star attraction, and homemade is a huge difference.

                                  For chilled soups I used store bought broth by preference, because it's low gelatin. The homemade stuff will taste good, but produces jelly rather than soup.

                                  1. The only thing I do with store-bought stock is Instant Chicken and Dumplings. Dump frozen pierogies in a deep baking dish---use the kind stuffed with mashed potatoes--and mix in some boneless skinless chicken breast cut into chunks. Cover all of it completely with chicken broth from a carton. Cover airtight with foil. Bake an hour and a half at 350*.

                                    1. Sometimes when I'm having a sandwich for lunch and it's cold out, I'll nuke some store-bought and add a hit of fish sauce and a squeeze of lime, just to warm my (sadly ample) tummy.