Stocks vs. Broths: What's the Difference?
The main distinction between stocks and broths is that stocks are generally made only with bones while broths are made with meat. Stocks are often intended to be used in the preparation of other dishes whereas broths are meant to be eaten as is. Often, for an extra deep flavor, broths are made by cooking meat in stock, rather than just water. Of course, vegetable stock and even water can always be used as the base to broth soups, but the flavor is rarely as complex and deep as those made with some sort of meat base.
Broth Soups Offer a World of Possibilities
Broth soups range from the rustic to the refined. Regardless of the end product, however, the key to these soups is the same--a well balanced, flavorful base. The best broth soups have little to no fat floating in them and the flavors of the separate components mesh well, but remain distinct.
Practically every culture has its own version of a broth based soup ranging from the classic beef based French onion soup, to Japanese miso soup to Italian minestrone. Chinese egg drop soup, in which uncooked scrambled egg is added to the hot simmering liquid just before it is served and allowed to coagulate into thin yellow ribbons within the broth, is an example of classic broth soup.