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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been using crushed tomatoes and/or tomato sauce as a replacement for broth, but y'know, not the best solution. I could make a homemade broth, but -- my area sucks something awful and there's nothing raw that I can buy to process and make the broth. I just buy frozen vegetables for my soup, among other things.

I'm looking for something that can be bought online, and since I live in the most rural area in existence, it's the only way I'll get it. Gimme a recommendation, pweez. Something frugal would definitely be a bonus.

Help a broski out,
 

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Most major brands have a vegetable stock you can buy, but they can get pricey. I bet you could find something like Better than Bouillon for a base, I've heard great things about it but haven't tried it myself.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Locally, we have Swanson broth. But that crap is nasty. To say the least.

I appreciate the response, and I checked their website. They do have some vegetable bases, and their selection isn't entirely mock so that's good. I'll give it some consideration, since I dunno how long an eight ounce jar will last for $8.
 

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You don't have fresh produce where you live?

I usually use bullion cubes. They store a lot easier than broth and are much cheaper. I rely on my other ingredients to make the soup flavorful, though, so a lot of the time I won't use broth or bullion, but just water.
 

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I've never found a premade stock I like. My best general stock comes from lots of celery, some onion, black pepper and Knorr veg stock cubes instead of salt. Depending on the intended use I might add cumin or achiote. I simmer my broths for a long time despite most veg recipes; well over an hour.

I eat a lot of celery raw, so I throw the trimmings into an ongoing freezer bag, onion leftovers and lettuce cores too, to use when I need stock.
 

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You don't need broth/stock to make a soup. I usually only add water to vegetables and I always make different kinds of soups. There is nothing wrong with frozen vegetables and you can mix them with fresh ones.

The usual base for a soup would be onions and seasoning. You can also throw in some fresh or dried celery leaves and a bay leaf for extra kick. A handful of lentils (even if you're making a vegetable soup) also give it more depth. Broccoli and cabbage, leeks and cabbage also make tasty soups.

Just be careful not to add too many sweet, bland tasting vegetables and potatoes are a no no as they give an awful taste to the stock.

Just before serving you can add a handful of oats or cooked beans and for crunch some chopped nuts and always a drizzle of oil ; either evo or any other oil e.g. pumkin seed, avocado, hazelnut etc...
 

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Just start your soup off by sauteing some onion, carrot, celery and garlic in a little oil in the bottom of the pan. Let them get soft and maybe brown a little, but not too much. If they brown up a bit you can add a splash of wine or water and loosen the brown bits off the bottom, they add flavour. Then continue as normal. Make sure you season properly.

Stock is not needed if you concentrate these flavours first.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
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You don't have fresh produce where you live?
Not really. Only fruits, and barely any green veggies; only celery, cabbage, and broccoli. It might be enough for a good base, though.

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Originally Posted by Shyvas View Post

The usual base for a soup would be onions and seasoning. You can also throw in some fresh or dried celery leaves and a bay leaf for extra kick. A handful of lentils (even if you're making a vegetable soup) also give it more depth. Broccoli and cabbage, leeks and cabbage also make tasty soups.
I think I'll try that; an onion and celery base. I love lentils, but unfortunately they're not available to me here. The kind we have is seasoned with meat, even the dried beans. I usually add black, northern, kidney and pinto beans to my soup.

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Originally Posted by luvourmother View Post

Better than Boillion is very nice, its super concentrated so u only meed a tsp or tbsp depending on how much soup u are making.
Ah, iHerb! Thanks for the heads up. I didn't even know they sold soup bases. I'll probably buy some, probably five jars, to get the free shipping. $1/week is definitely frugal enough for me.

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Whole Foods vegetarian chicken broth powder is my favorite, but I don't like their vegetarian beef flavor at all.
North Carolina has a Whole Foods, but it's in Winston Salem which is about 30 miles away. It's too bad they don't do any shipping, or at least the NC one doesn't. I could make the trip by bike (no car) but that might be a little extreme just to grab some soup base. Or is it...?

Anywaaaaaaaaay. Thanks for the suggestions, and I'll definitely try some of them.
 

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Originally Posted by IBeBishin View Post

. I love lentils, but unfortunately they're not available to me here. The kind we have is seasoned with meat, even the dried beans. I usually add black, northern, kidney and pinto beans to my soup.
Wow that sucks. I couldn't imagine living in a place where dried (plain) lentils were impossible to find.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by IBeBishin View Post

I love lentils, but unfortunately they're not available to me here. The kind we have is seasoned with meat, even the dried beans. I usually add black, northern, kidney and pinto beans to my soup.
Wow. I've never heard of this, and I used to live in NC.
 

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Better than Boullion is the best I've bought. It is really concentrated, and low sodium. No Chicken and No Beef are both vegan. I don't bother with veg. as I do pretty much what's been said about homemade. The No Beef is wonderful for onion soup, and I'll stir a bit into cooking grains for added flavor

I also keep packets of onion soup and dip mix. The ones I buy from Aldis are vegan, I think most are. They're salty, but good for things like lentil loaves and seitan.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
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Originally Posted by fadeaway1289 View Post

Wow that sucks. I couldn't imagine living in a place where dried (plain) lentils were impossible to find.
Tell me about it. I've been everywhere in my city and I can't find unseasoned lentils anywhere. The most I can find are split peas, sadly. Not knockin' split peas but...

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Originally Posted by paperhanger View Post

Wow. I've never heard of this, and I used to live in NC.
I live in a tiny little city called Lexington that's in the mid-west of NC. Our *cough* mascot is a pig, which takes after the really disgusting barbeque festivals we have here. I have to travel to another city to get anything substantive. Hell, I have to bike 45 miles just to get to my closest bike shop. Absurd. But I'm stuck here for the long haul, so there's not much I can do.

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Originally Posted by silva View Post

Better than Boullion is the best I've bought. It is really concentrated, and low sodium. No Chicken and No Beef are both vegan. I don't bother with veg. as I do pretty much what's been said about homemade. The No Beef is wonderful for onion soup, and I'll stir a bit into cooking grains for added flavor

I also keep packets of onion soup and dip mix. The ones I buy from Aldis are vegan, I think most are. They're salty, but good for things like lentil loaves and seitan.
I ordered some BtB last night at iHerb. A few random types, including the vegetable base.

My local dollar store has some vegan onion soup mix that I buy, but it's not very concentrated. It's the only onion mix I've found that isn't chock full of the worst preservatives.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
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Originally Posted by AlainWinthrope View Post

oh, god. I did a google image search of Lexington, CN. I feel sorry for you, op.
Most do.

The Better than Bouillon bases are very tasty, inexpensive, and work well in a lot of dishes. Thanks a bunch for the recommendation.
 
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