Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Make It Yourself - Cream Soups

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)

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!


  1. We have soy allergies in our house and can't have any cream soups for that reason. I do miss them though! My husband and I are also sensitive to wheat, but corn starch seems to be a suitable substitute. If you have any allergies, it seems that packaged foods of all types are no longer an option.

    Thanks for the recipes. I always guess and it doesn't always work!

    1. Hi ! Have you ever heard of Einkorn wheat? I think it's by Jovial Foods. It's one of the last remaining ancient grains that wasn't hybridized. Most of the wheat found in stores today contain hybridized wheat and I've heard that people with wheat sensitivities can sometimes tolerate Einkorn wheat because it has much lower gluten than today's typical wheat. I think today's wheat has more gluten to make it easier to get more successful breads and such when baking. They also make dry pasta and cookies. I haven't tried the flour or pasta yet but the cookies are good ! Be on the alert with corn starch because it could be GMO. Organic cornstarch is a safer bet or arrowroot powder-which is easily digested and tasteless so it doesn't affect the outcome of a recipe as it thickens it. I also use it to sprinkle on the counter when I'm rolling out some dough. It also has some nutritional value !

  2. You know I've been making this 'white sauce' for a while now for potato soup, mac & cheese, and just last night I made a three cheese chicken penne with it. I had wondered if I could use it to replace cream soups. I refuse to buy them because of the MSG, and other additives. Thanks for the tip!

    By the way, do you know of any places to get more 'natural' recipes? I can't find any chicken recipe that doesn't consist of some cream soup! Or, try finding cake recipes that don't call for cake mixes! Ugh! I just want to cook and bake from scratch is that too much to ask? hehe :)

    Love reading your blog when I get the chance! God bless!

  3. I just got a tip from a friend about making white sauce in the microwave! I'm going to try it. I'm not fond of making white sauce for standing and stirring at the stove. I don't use canned soups, but I just usually avoid the white sauce recipes.

  4. Wow! for as homemaky as I am and for as "frugal" I am in the kitchen. You'd think I wouldn't be using store-bought cream condensed soups, but I do. You're all convicting me to rethink this...

    appreciated. I came over there from the post you linked this one too, about the mushroom soup with beans. What a fabulous idea!! Can't wait to try it. :)

  5. This is a great recipe! Can you store it in the fridge? How long? I would like to have some available for the times I feel like I hardly have time to make it :) Thank you!

    1. Yes. You can store it in the fridge. I try to use it within a few days.


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