Cookbook and food magazine recipe ingredient lists for soups and sauces, often include a broth.

What is a broth? It is a liquid made from cooking vegetables, meat or fish in water. A broth is incorporated to supposedly enhance flavor. The term stock is often used interchangeably with broth, although stock is made mostly from bones and meat. Bouillon cubes are dehydrated meat stock and come in the form of tablets.

Broth and its relatives stock and bouillon are actually unnecessary. Soup and sauce recipes always also call for fresh or dried herbs, spices, or smoked bones, and other flavor bombs. Most commercial broths are replete with unhealthy additives and often contain high levels of sodium. Bouillon cubes are notoriously salty and nutritionally poor as well.

Making your own broth (or stock) is a pointless time-consuming affair. Their recipes often require a long simmering time, even up to several hours! When you add the prep time to this endeavor you have to ask yourself: “Why go to all this trouble when I can just add herbs, spices, or other flavorful ingredients that are routinely used in all other cooked foods?” This is particularly the case in our times when people are extremely busy.

Another issue against the use of home-cooked or commercial broths: When vegetables are exposed to intense and prolonged heat, some of their fragile and heat-sensitive nutrients are rendered dead-on-arrival. So save time, and try the following examples of some no-broth, mouth watering wholesome soups — enjoy.

Judy E. Buss is a Nutritional Cooking Instructor, Blogger for the American Holistic Health Association and speaker.

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