I use a vegetable stock for most of my soups. Sometimes you might need a meatier soup, so you could use a chicken stock, but I find that, between the vegetable stock and the ham stock I have in the freezer, I have enough natural stock that works with most soups.
The beauty of the stock is that you can use most vegetable cuttings to make it. Technically all you need is a light-flavoured stock to bring out the flavour of the soup.
In BAGEL BEAN we use a variety of vegetables to make our stock, usually white onions, carrots, leeks and celery. For a small stock at home get yourself 2 of each of the above, skin them and chop them roughly.
Throw a couple of bay leaves and a small handful of black peppercorns into a biggish pot, add the prepared vegetables and cover with about 6 litres water. Bring to the boil and simmer for a couple of hours, giving the vegetables time to flavour the water. Strain the liquid into a pot and throw out the vegetables into the brown bin for compost. There you have it: a home-made vegetable stock that has no salt or any preservatives in it.
Of course, you will have to add seasoning to your finished soup but that’s entirely fine.