Chicken vs Vegetable Broth

I've always been surprised by how many otherwise vegetarian soups call for chicken stock as a base ingredient. Although I'm not vegetarian, I do like eating vegetarian sometimes, so I've been tempted to simply substitute veggie stock. But then it occurred to me, the flavor profiles of chicken vs. veggie stock are really different, so the chicken choice is likely intentional. Does substituting ruin the recipe? Do you ever consider them interchangeable?

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8 Comments

Blissful B. June 24, 2011
Thanks everyone!
 
Helen's A. June 24, 2011
Forgot to add: if I am out of either, I will sometimes substitute Miso...
 
healthierkitchen June 24, 2011
There is a stock in a box product by Imagine that I just bought, but haven't used yet, called No Chicken Broth. It's a veggie broth that is supposed to have the flavor profile of a chicken style stock, but without the chicken.
 
boulangere June 23, 2011
Sometimes I use them interchangeably, and sometimes not. The one time I find that veg stock really doesn't stand in well is in any soup to which cream or milk will be added. Yes, I agree with HLA that veg stock has an intrinsically sweeter taste, but also there is the fat factor. Even though I mostly defat my chicken stocks (I leave some behind for flavor), the cream and/or milk form much better flavor bonds with chicken stock's proteins and fats.
 
wssmom June 23, 2011
I keep frozen cubes of both homeade all-purpose chicken and all-purpose vegetable stock on hand; in most recipes I find they are more or less interchangeable. If I am making a vegetable chili, however, I'd use the vegetable stock to keep the flavors purer.
 
hardlikearmour June 23, 2011
Sometimes I find veggie stock to be sweeter than I'd like for a recipe. I prefer to substitute mushroom stock for a meat/poultry stock. I use this recipe, then portion and freeze: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Mushroom-Stock-15319
 
sdebrango June 23, 2011
i like to use both interchangeably but it really depends on the recipe you are using of course. Vegetable broths can be just as flavorful as chicken broth here is a link to one Boulangere posted that sounds so delicious: http://www.food52.com/recipes/12658_roasted_corn_stock
 
Helen's A. June 23, 2011
Probably depends on the recipe. A brown chicken stock will be bolder than a light chicken broth. Same holds true with vegetable stocks. You can make a really hearty vegetable broth with lots of dried mushrooms, or a light broth using a classic French recipe... I would experiment! I'm sure you'll find a good all purpose vegetable broth that you can use for everyday.
 
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