Stirring the pot with soup bases for super cost-effective options - Brand Points Plus Canada

Stirring the pot with soup bases for super cost-effective options

Working with soup bases can save you time, labour and money. Two experts share their chef tips and soup-er recipes.

A good soup base can be an immeasurable asset to the foodservice kitchen. It adds depth of flavour to dishes, can be built upon to create signature recipes and eliminates the cost of raw ingredients required to make a consistently flavourful stock. There are many advantages to using a soup base as the platform for soup innovation:

Time- and labour-saving

Making the switch from scratch recipes to “speed scratch” recipes, including those using and building on a good soup base can mean significant time and labour savings for operators. “Scratch made stocks, and sauces derived from these stocks, can take hours of skilled labour,” says Kyla Tuori, corporate chef at Unilever Food Solutions. “The cost of raw ingredients used to make a consistent flavourful stock can be a hassle, as well as the storage needed for these raw ingredients.”

Cost-saving

On the rising cost of labour across North America, Gerald Drummond, executive chef, North American Foodservice, Campbell Soup Company, says, “As minimums continue to increase, chefs and operators need to be creative in driving down costs while continuing to give customers creativity. It’s always a delicate balancing act.”

Inventory-saving

“Having a good-tasting and well-balanced base helps the operator have greater variety on the menu while not increasing their inventory,” Chef Drummond continues. “It allows for the ability to offer multiple menu items while using the same product, as well as being able to stay relevant when it comes to food trends.”

Creative

What makes a good soup base? Beyond lending great flavour and aroma to dishes, Chef Kyla says, “a good commercial base is a concentrated product meant to be diluted to mimic a scratch-made stock (yet is also) so much more, and can be used for seasoning, marinating, and enhancing other scratch-made recipes.” When it comes to which base(s) to choose, knowing what you want to achieve will help dictate what is important to look for. “Not all soup bases are created equal, or alike,” she continues. “With the variety of formats, ingredient decks, and (nutritional or special diet) claims, there is a base for every application and operator.”

Versatile

Beyond soup, many soup bases can be used in a variety of applications. Chef Gerald suggests turning a cream soup base into sauce for flatbread or pizza, alfredo sauce for pasta or using as a rich and flavourful base for chicken pot pie.

“Powder bases can be used in their raw form for seasoning dishes,” says Chef Kyla. Since these bases are often ‘salt first’ in the ingredient decks, they can add a lot of flavour where it may otherwise be lacking.

“Paste bases, due to their consistency and ‘ingredient/meat first’ ingredient decks, are great for rubs and marinades,” she adds. “They will adhere easily to the item that you are marinating and infuse it with flavours. Liquid concentrated bases can be used for seasoning dishes, marinating, glazing, and as a finishing enhancer. They are the most versatile of bases due to their consistency and flavour complexity.”

It’s time to soup up your creativity in the kitchen, as well as your profit margin, with the addition of soup bases.


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Chorizo, White Bean and Potato Soup


  • Author: Campbell’s
  • Total Time: 35
  • Yield: 8 1x
Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp (15 ml) olive oil
  • 12 oz (340 g) chorizo sausage, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 can (19 oz/540 ml) white kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 3 red potatoes, unpeeled, roughly diced
  • 1 tsp (5 ml) Italian seasoning
  • 3 cups (750 ml) Campbell’s Classic Cream Concentrated Soup Base
  • 3 cups (750 ml) water
  • 1 bunch Swiss chard
  • pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Heat oil in stockpot over medium-high heat. Add chorizo; sauté for a few minutes, stirring occasionally.  
  2. Add garlic, kidney beans, onion, potatoes, Italian seasoning, Campbell’s Classic Cream Concentrated Soup Base and water. Stir well to combine.
  3. Increase heat to high; once it starts to boil, reduce to medium heat. Cook for 10 — 15 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
  4. Meanwhile, removed Swiss chard leaves from stems and tear leaves into bite-size pieces; add to soup. Cook for an additional 10 minutes. Season with pepper to taste. 

Sponsors

Campbell's Foodservice

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Creamy Pumpkin Tortilla Soup


  • Author: Campbell’s
  • Total Time: 30
  • Yield: 10 1x
Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp (15 ml) olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, diced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 10 oz (280 g) cooked chicken breast, shredded
  • 1 can (15 oz/425 ml) pumpkin puree (NOT pumpkin pie filling)
  • 1 can (19 oz/540 ml) black beans, drained and rinsed
  • ½ cup (125 ml) corn kernels, frozen or canned (drained)
  • 2 tsp (10 ml) ground cumin
  • 1 tsp (5 ml) chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp (2 ml) black pepper
  • 3 cups (750 ml) Campbell’s Classic Cream Concentrated Soup Base
  • 3 cups (750 ml) water
  • Tortilla chips

Instructions

  1. Heat oil in large stockpot over medium heat. Add onion, celery, carrots and garlic; cook, stirring, for about 15 minutes or until softened. 
  2. Add chicken, pumpkin puree, black beans, corn, cumin, chili powder, pepper, Campbell’s® Classic Cream Concentrated Soup Base and water. Stir well to combine. 
  3. Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer for about 10 minutes. 
  4. Portion into bowls. Garnish with tortilla chips and optional garnishes such as diced avocado.

Sponsors

Campbell's Foodservice

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Sweet Potato and Chickpea Moroccan Stew


  • Author: Campbell’s
  • Total Time: 90
  • Yield: 8 1x
Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp (15 ml) olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp (5 ml) ground turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp (2 ml) ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp (2 ml) ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp (2 ml) ground cumin
  • 1 can (19 oz/540 ml) red lentils, canned and drained 
  • 1 can (19 oz/540 ml) chickpeas, canned and drained 
  • 2 cups (500 ml) V8 Vegetable Cocktail
  • 2 tbsp (30 ml) tomato paste
  • 12 oz (340 g) sweet potato, peeled and diced
  • 4 cups (1 L) Campbell’s Low Sodium Chicken Stock, prepared as per package directions
  • 1 cup (250 ml) dry couscous
  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) chopped fresh coriander
  • pomegranate seeds, optional 

Instructions

  1. Heat oil in large stockpot over medium-high heat. Add onion; sauté for 3 — 5 minutes or until beginning to soften. Add garlic; sauté for 3 minutes more.
  2. Add turmeric, cinnamon, ginger and cumin; stir to coat. Stir in lentils and chickpeas. Stir in V8 Vegetable Cocktail and tomato paste; simmer over low heat for 15 minutes. 
  3. Add sweet potato and prepared Campbell’s Low Sodium Chicken Stock; simmer over low heat for 1 hour. 
  4. Meanwhile, prepare couscous according to package directions. Once all water is absorbed, fluff couscous with a fork. Add to stew; cook until stew is thickened. 
  5. Portion into bowls. Garnish with parsley, coriander and pomegranate seeds (if using). 

Sponsors

Campbell's Foodservice

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Southern Thai Rice Noodles with Barracuda


  • Author: Knorr
  • Total Time: 30
  • Yield: 6 1x
Scale

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) Southern Thai curry paste
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) shrimp paste
  • 4 cups (1 L) cooked and roughly chopped Thai barracuda 
  • 3 cups (700 mL) coconut milk + 1/2 cup (125 mL) coconut milk
  • 3 cups (0.7 L) prepared Knorr® Fish Bouillon + 10 oz (0.3 L) prepared Knorr® Fish Bouillon
  • 2 tsp (10 mL) salt
  • 3 kaffir lime leaves, torn
  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) fish sauce
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) palm sugar
  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) tamarind paste

Garnishes:

  • 4 cups (1 L) shredded cabbage
  • 4 cups (1 L) mung bean sprouts
  • 2 cups (500 mL) quartered and thinly sliced cucumber 
  • 2 cups (500 mL) long bean, thinly sliced crosswise
  • 2 cups (500 mL) Thai basil leaves
  • 4 cups (1 L) cooked rice noodles

Instructions

  1. In a mortar, mix curry and shrimp paste with fish until fairly smooth. 
  2. Heat about 1/2 cup (125 mL) of the coconut milk in a pot; add curry paste mixture. Cook for 2 — 3 minutes or until spices are cooked and aromatic. 
  3. Add 2 ½ cups (625 mL) more coconut milk and 3 cups (0.7 L) prepared Knorr® Fish Bouillon; bring to a boil. Stir in salt and kaffir lime leaves, fish sauce and sugar; add tamarind paste. Adjust the taste to your preference. It should be a blend of salty, sour and a hint of sweetness. 
  4. Pour in remaining 10 oz (0.3 L) prepared Knorr® Fish Bouillon; mix well. Stir in remaining 1/2 cup (125 mL) coconut milk. Once it bubbles again turn off heat. 
  5. To serve, arrange cabbage, bean sprouts, cucumber, long beans and Thai basil in sections among 6 plates. Divide the fish curry sauce and rice noodles among 6 bowl; serve on plates with garnishes.

* Servings: 6 (appetizer-sized portions) 

Sponsors

Knorr

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Avocado Gazpacho


  • Author: Knorr
  • Total Time: 30
  • Yield: 1016 1x
Scale

Ingredients

  • 16 cups (4 L) prepared and cooled Knorr® Ultimate Chicken Base Gluten Free 
  • 3 cucumbers, peeled, seeded and chopped
  • 3 green bell peppers, seeded and chopped
  • 5 shallots, peeled and quartered
  • 5 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 lb (450 g) lettuce, shredded
  • 2.5 g chopped fresh dill 
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) red wine vinegar
  • juice of 2 lemons
  • 5 ripe avocados, roughly chopped + 1 firm-ripe avocado, finely chopped
  • kosher salt and black pepper, to taste

Garnishes:

  • dill sprigs
  • 2/3 cup (150 ml) crème fraiche

Instructions

  1. In large blender or food processor, combine Knorr Ultimate Chicken Base Gluten Free, cucumber, green pepper, shallots, garlic, lettuce, chopped dill, vinegar and lemon juice. Blend, in batches if necessary. Blend in the 5 roughly chopped avocados until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir in finely chopped avocado; cover and chill thoroughly. Check and adjust seasoning. 
  2. Portion into bowls. Garnish with crème fraiche and dill sprigs. 

Sponsors

Knorr

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