Have you noticed how the broth, stock and bouillon section of the grocery store has blossomed and expanded over the past few years? I can remember when there was one national brand and one house brand of broth on my grocery store's shelves. There was never a stock option, and bouillon came only in cubes.
Now you have celebrity chefs adorning the packages of "gourmet" stock options. Bouillon comes in pastes, granules, cubes and broths with low-sodium, natural and old-fashioned options. How does a cook choose?
I've been relying on the Better Than Bouillon stock concentrate or base because I can control the amount I add down to the last dollop. The most common ingredient in most of these products is sodium in some form. While it tastes wonderful, it can be too much for some people. Using a concentrate means you can dilute the bouillon flavor and presence to exactly the amount you desire without pumping up the overall volume of the soup.
Today's recipe has plenty of salty goodness from 2 teaspoons of concentrate in the cooking liquid, so all you need to add is cayenne pepper to balance it out. For sensitive palates, you can substitute ground black pepper, if desired. If you've never tried the concentrate, give it a try. It can be substituted in all recipes calling for broth or stock at 1 teaspoon of base per 1 cup of water for full strength or less to taste. Let me know what you think on www.kitchenscoop.com. (Special note: I did not receive any compensation or other kudos for suggesting this product. I'm sharing my current preference as friendly advice, cook to cook. Enjoy!)
Suggested Menu: Red Potato, Lima and Corn Soup; small green salad; and crackers for serving
Red Potato, Lima and Corn Soup
Start to finish: 45 minutes
Yield: 4 generous servings; leftovers are delicious
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1 cup yellow onion, chopped
3 cups red potatoes, unpeeled and diced
6 cups water
2 teaspoons Better Than Bouillon chicken base
1 cup frozen lima beans
1 cup frozen yellow corn
1/4 cup half-and-half
2 tablespoons cornstarch
Cayenne pepper to taste
In large soup pot, heat oil over medium. Add onion and potatoes; stir and cook until potatoes begin to stick and are slightly brown, about 5 minutes.
Add water, bouillon concentrate, lima beans and corn. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. When soup boils, uncover and cook for 20 minutes or until potatoes are very tender.
In a small jar, mix together the half-and-half and cornstarch. Shake well. Reduce heat for soup to low and drizzle the cornstarch mixture into the soup, stirring constantly. Stir until soup thickens. Season with cayenne pepper to taste. Serve immediately.
Cook's Note: To make this a vegetarian soup, you may choose the vegetable or mushroom concentrate, but be aware that they are darker products and will change the appearance of the soup.
Approximate values per serving: 233 calories, 5 grams fat (2 grams saturated), 6 milligrams cholesterol, 7 grams protein, 42 grams carbohydrates, 6 grams dietary fiber, 367 milligrams sodium.
Contact Alicia Ross at Kitchen Scoop, c/o Universal Uclick, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106, or send email to email@example.com.