You probably have lots of quick, easy recipes that call for condensed cream soups, like cream of chicken or mushroom. They’re pantry staples and I bet you have some in your cupboards right now.
Have you looked at the ingredients? Go ahead, I’ll wait.
Seriously. Go now.
It’s surprising that soup with “cream” in the name has less than 2% actual milk or cream. Top ingredients in all the brands I found are water, vegetable oil and modified food starch. It’s high in sodium and has practically zero nutrition.
We can do so much better than that.
You won’t believe how easy it is to make DIY Cream of (fill in the blank) Soup.
Here’s why it’s worth the extra bit of effort; it’s totally cheap! It’s delicious. You control the sodium, fat and you can easily customize it to your personal taste. Did I mention it’s easy? You may never go back to canned stuff again.
I like this recipe because it’s gluten free and contains only real food ingredients. It’s makes about a quart or the equivalent of three cans of condensed soup. And can be used in any recipe calling for condensed cream soup.
There’s a base recipe, so you can add chicken to make cream of chicken, mushrooms to make cream of mushroom, celery to make. . . you get it!
And you can go beyond the basics found in the grocery store. Get creative with your favorite veggies, like asparagus, onion, peppers, or broccoli. Use leftovers from your dinner to make protein added cream soup – cream of shrimp, pork, beef, or bacon! Add as much or as little additional ingredients as you like.
Add herbs! Add spices!
Keep it in the fridge for up to seven days. You can make just the basic versatile base and add the additional ingredients as you use it, like mushrooms or onion, if you wish.
It can even make easy gravy or cheese sauce, too!
DIY Condensed Cream of (Fill in the Blank) Soup
What You’ll Need:
- 1 (12 oz.) can evaporated milk – skim, 2% or whole
- 2 (14 oz.) cans chicken, beef or vegetable broth
- ¼ cup corn starch
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon salt – or to taste
Optional add ins – 1 cup mushrooms – minced and sautéed, or 1 cup celery – minced and sautéed, or 1 cup cooked chicken – minced.
- Place all base ingredients into a blender and blend until completely combined.
- Pour into a large sauce pan (I use a 3 quart pan as this can boil up) on medium-low heat and heat slowly to boiling, whisking constantly. It will thicken as it boils and more as it cools. Add any optional ingredients.
- Remove from heat. Use immediately or cool and store in the fridge.
Please note, this makes condensed soup, but you can add milk or water to get the consistency you want for a speedy soup. Add a salad or sandwich and dinner is done!
Diva Tip – Slice the vegetables to the size you enjoy, I like mine chunky. But if you have picky eaters who pick out every trace of mushroom or celery, just puree the veggies completely in the blender while you’re putting the soup together. It’ll taste terrific and they’ll never know. It’ll be our secret.
Add shredded cheese to hot soup to make cheese sauce or pan drippings to make easy cream gravy.
For crock pot recipes – because this contains actual milk, it may break down if left in the crock pot for a long time. So, add the soup in the last hour of cooking.
Other soup recipes you’ll LOVE –
Keep some on hand to upgrade your weeknight cooking. It’s surprising how handy it is to have “instant creaminess” in the fridge. When you have a jar of this DIY soup ready and waiting (rather than having to open can) you can use a spoonful here and a half cup there to add flavor, texture and smoothness to any dish you’re making.