Instant Soup Stock=Happy Flavor Bomb

I sat down to write this post and discovered I’d pretty much written it before–this is what happens when your blog is almost 10 years old. But you know what? I’m going to repeat myself, just because I want to.

Back in 2013 I linked to this post by our friend Pascal on making instant soup stock with foraged greens: Wild Food Soup Stock. It’s great! But foraged greens have a short season here, and lately I’ve been using a more domestic recipe from the great blog Food in Jars: Homemade Vegetable Soup Concentrate.

Check them out. You’ll see the ways in which they are similar. Basically you’re just taking all the tasty, aromatic parts of soup stock (onions, parsley, carrots, etc.) and grinding them up with salt.

Don’t be put off if you don’t have all the ingredients called for in either recipe. I’ve never followed either of the recipes exactly. Use what you’ve got.

The salt preserves the ingredients and is, of course, flavor in itself.  Because of all the salt, this soup starter/stock stays fresh in the fridge for months and months. It seems like a lot of salt, but not all that much ends up in any one finished dish. You will want to hold back on added salt in your recipe, though. I usually end up adding just a touch of salt at the end, but not nearly as much as I would without the stock base.

I love this stuff. I use it all the time. It’s one of my favorite cooking staples. I want you to love it, too.

What do you do with it? Well, we all know that stock makes everything taste better, and I do make and freeze stock, but that is a bit of a chore, and I end up being stingy with my stock, considering a recipe and wondering whether it is “stock worthy.”

When you have instant stock in the fridge, you don’t have to hold back.  Just sling spoonfuls of it into anything you’re making. It goes in the rice water, in the couscous water–into any cooked grain situation. It gets stirred into beans to finish them. It starts off all soups and stews. It can be soup in itself–just add some to some hot water and toss in whatever you’ve got in the fridge to make a quick soup. Basically, if the recipe is savory and calls for water at some point, the water gets supercharged with flavor.

The best thing is that one batch of this will last you for months. So just a bit of effort up front yields long-lasting rewards.

Please give it a try!

Leave a comment


  1. I will certainly give this a try. I remember your post about the foraged greens but a forager I am not. I keep the Better than Bouillon chicken stuff on hand but their vegetable base is no good so I’d love something like this that I can keep on hand. Thanks!

    • Please do try it! I hope you like it! And yep, you only have to forage carrots from the fridge. 😉

  2. I’ve looked at this idea on and off but really needed to hear from someone who had tried it!

  3. Love this idea (in spite of the intimidating amount of salt) and really want to try it. But I’ll have to cut the recipe amounts down because there is only a dorm-size fridge in my house. I got rid of my regular-size refrigerator as an economy measure (one of the best decisions I ever made). Living with a dorm-size fridge requires careful food planning. This soup stock certainly seems worthy of fridge space!

  4. I read your post yesterday and immediately went into the kitchen and used up vegetables that were surplus from a permaculture event. It was so fun…veggie, pulse, salt, pulse, veggie, etc. AND it’s tasty. Thanks.

  5. It’s just such delicious, easy-to-use stuff. I’m so happy to hear you folks are fellow soup base lovers. And thanks for the kind shout-out!

  6. This stuff is so nice to have around. I made some several weeks ago and have kept one jar in the fridge and the others in the freezer for much later because, as you noted, one batch lasts a long time. I add it to soups, beans, and rice.

  7. I made it! And I’m really pleased with it–wonderful stuff! I froze about half the batch, and I may yet elect to freeze a bit more to free up fridge space.

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