This Chicken Soup Hack Majorly Upgrades Boxed Broth

No matter how old we are, whenever feeling chilly, sick, or just sad, we'll always crave a comforting chicken soup. It's warm, flavorful, and is often a fulfilling plate that can be served with steamed white rice, potatoes, and preferred veggies. Plus, it can be an easy enough dish to whip up, especially if you have broth ready at home — which is different from stock. You'll just need to add in the ingredients and boil it up, and you'll have a chicken soup ready in around 20 minutes. If feeling creative, there are other chicken soup recipes in creamier versions, or even Mexican and Greek versions with lemon, known as avgolemono. Besides, broth is a fundamental staple for other dishes like risotto and pasta.

But, what happens if you don't have broth ready in your fridge? You can always use a boxed broth from your pantry, and don't worry, that doesn't make you a cheater, but rather a person that prioritizes convenience. Of course, a homemade broth version may be preferred, and nutritionally can be lighter with less sodium and even have more flavor. But there are hacks to upgrade the boxed broth to as close to homemade as you can get. It's time for you to use this favorite kitchen staples wisely, and pump up your broth with more volume and thickness (per Kitchn).

Making the most out of boxed broth

Let's begin with the basics. Make sure your broth is correctly salted, and with a good amount of pepper too, as Real Simple suggests. Then, you can simmer the broth for around 10 minutes and combine it with add-ins and toppings. From veggies, cheeses, sauces, and protein like chicken, pork, or plant-based options like tofu. You can even roast the proteins before adding them.

According to AllRecipes, it's all about playing with flavors. Lemon juice, vinegar, white wine, or tomato purée brings acidity to the broth while adding onion, garlic, mushroom, seaweed or miso enhances an umami taste. Above all, try adding freshness to the boxed broth with fresh herbs like basil, parsley, or cilantro. Think also about the aroma, the density of the soup, and even colors — for example, you can add curry, kimchi, or your favorite spicy seasoning with paprika on it to dress up your soup.

Use a popular broth brand, and start playing with ingredients until you unlock the flavor that makes boxed broth taste homemade and fresh.