Believe it or not, I have never purchased a can of cream of (mushroom, celery, chicken) soup! And not because we don't like creamy casseroles!
I've considered keeping a few cans on hand for a busy day but always figure that the few minutes and few pennies it takes to stir up my own didn't make purchasing commercial cream soups necessary. This is one recipe that I use so often that it is taped in the cupboard above my stove.
If you ever need to cook for someone who is allergic to MSG, making your own cream soups will quickly become a necessity. I've learned from a MSG allergic lady that almost any processed food at the grocery store contains MSG and if it isn't listed in the ingredients, it is hidden in the "artificial and natural flavors". Any simple white sauce recipe will work (2 T butter, 2 T flour, 1 cup milk - is an easy one.) and the ways to personalize the seasonings are unlimited. I'll share how I make cream soups - plus some ideas for variations. Small batch - comparable to one can of purchased soup 2 T oil or butter 1/4 cup flour 1 cup milk, water, or chicken broth Wisk together oil and flour. Stir in liquid. Wisk briskly while heating until thick. Large batch - comparable to two cans of soup - but I often make this batch just to have a creamier dish. 1/3 cup oil or water 1/2 cup flour 2 cup milk, water, or chicken broth Mix same as small batch. Seasonings I most commonly use (amounts are for large batch, but I rarely measure anything, and just use this as a guide) 1/2 tsp salt 1/2 tsp onion powder 1/2 tsp garlic powder pinch of pepper 2 tsp Worchestershire sauce (this helps give it the flavor of bought soup) Variations: 1. Saute a few chopped onion, celery, garlic, or mushrooms in the oil before adding the flour. 2. Add 1/2 tsp dry mustard, 1 additional cup milk, and 2 cups cheese for cheese sauce for vegetables or mac-n-cheese 3. Add 2 tsp curry powder and 2 cups of cooked chopped chicken, turkey or beef. Heat well and serve over rice. We love this quick supper!