The Easy Herb Tip For Upgrading Boxed Broth

Thyme, garlic and broth
Thyme, garlic and broth - Mironov Vladimir/Shutterstock

Whether you're making creamy mushroom risotto, stirring up a hearty pot of bean-free Texas chili, or adding depth of flavor to cooked rice, boxed broth is a convenient, ready-to-use ingredient. The only downside to boxed broth is that it's not always as flavorful as a homemade batch. However, you shouldn't have to compromise on flavor just to enjoy convenient cooking, and with the help of some aromatic herbs, you'll have a store-bought broth that's just as tasty as one made from scratch without any extra elbow grease.

Simmering your broth with herbs before introducing it to your dish facilitates the development of new layers of flavor. Many herbs also have strong aromas, which strengthens our perception of taste. When you add herbs to boxed broth, you're improving both its taste and aroma -- double win.

If you're a picky eater, we don't blame you -- high standards yield high-quality dishes. To achieve a more flavor-forward box of broth, simply introduce a selection of herbs to a simmering pot of the liquid. If you don't want loose herbs dotting your dish, run the herb-infused broth through a fine strainer to remove the residual fragments before bringing the emboldened cooking liquid into your favorite recipes.

Read more: 12 Discontinued Store-Bought Soups We Aren't Getting Back

Upgrading Boxed Broth With Fresh Versus Dried Herbs

Dried and fresh sage
Dried and fresh sage - 5ph/Getty Images

You can grow herbs in your garden, buy them fresh from the supermarket, or purchase them in dehydrated form. Ultimately, all herbs are good herbs (excluding the poisonous ones, of course). However, fresh and dehydrated herbs boast their own unique advantages, making each a suitable choice in different contexts. So, which herb form is best when upgrading boxed broth?

Because they're "fresh" and unadulterated, you might assume that raw, whole herbs are better suited for upgrading boxed broth than their dehydrated counterparts. However, that's not entirely true. Because they're not diluted by the presence of water, the flavors in herbs take on a more dense and concentrated form when dehydrated. When you simmer or cook fresh herbs for more than 15 minutes, the compounds responsible for their garden-esque taste and aroma are removed. Because of this, dried herbs are the best choice for bringing bigger, bolder flavors into boxed broth.

Dried herbs are also an advantageous choice for jazzing up bland boxed broth because they last longer than their fresh counterparts, which means you don't have to rush to put them to use. When stored in a cool, dry environment, dried herbs will hold on to their flavor for up to three years.

Pairing Herbs With Boxed Broth Varieties

Broth with herbs
Broth with herbs - Margouillatphotos/Getty Images

For boxed chicken broth, simmer the liquid with dried basil to imbue it with a bold, bright, and peppery flavor that carries notes of mint and clove. Oregano, with its earthy taste and strong, aromatic fragrance is perfect for sprucing up boxed chicken broth. The woodsy, citrus-tinted essence of rosemary is another excellent choice that's both uplifting and grounding.

For boxed beef broth, which has a slightly heartier bravado than chicken broth, simmer the cooking liquid with parsley, which provides it with a clean, springy, and peppery edge that livens up its heftiness. Marjoram has a warm, slightly sweet flavor with hints of pine and citrus that can cut through the singular yet deep flavor of beef broth. Like chicken broth, basil, oregano, and rosemary can also work well in boxed beef broth.

When it comes to boxed veggie broth, various savory herbs will ground its garden-fresh essence for a more satisfying flavor. Dried fennel, chives, or dill are perfect choices. Next time you have a lackluster box of broth -- bust out the dried herbs. Your tastebuds (and dinner guests) will thank you.

Read the original article on Daily Meal