As I’m working towards more real foods and fewer processed foods (don’t miss the “working towards”) one of my biggest struggles has been the need to find a substitute for the good old standby “cream of ________________.” You can insert chicken/mushroom/celery, etc. We used to use these all the time in casseroles and slow cooker dishes. I used to have a years supply of Cream of Chicken and Cream of Mushroom soups. Then we (read ME) started moving towards a more mindful approach to things like food.
Have you ever read one of these soup labels? Checked out the ingredients? Seriously, the labels are SCARY! Things like MSG (monosodium glutimate), autolyzed yeast extract, disodium phosphate, etc. I don’t want to be feeding my kids that stuff!
So I went digging. I remember in high school I had copied down a recipe that my mom had for a cream of soup substitute….and I dug and dug…and I found it! Written in my 17 year old handwriting was this little nugget.
I have modified it just the smidgiest bit, and created a mix to keep in my pantry to throw together when I need a can of condensed soup. And seriously…throw together is no lie. It is faster than superman and able to leap tall buildings in a single bound….really!
When you use it, you can add in different additional herbs based on what you’re making to make your creation seriously gourmet.
The process goes like this:
Gather up your ingredients….a little non fat milk powder, chopped dried onion, bouillon, pepper, basil, thyme, cornstarch….
Dump it all in a big bowl, mix it together and store it in an airtight container.
To make some, mix 1/3 cup mix with 1 1/4 cup cold water and heat…..
…..Til nice and thick and bubbly….it smells so good and tastes even better! Use it in all of your old recipes that call for condensed soup….you will not be disappointed with the flavor, lack of chemicals, or reduced fat! I promise! And….AND…it really doesn’t take much longer than finding the can opener so you can open that old can of condensed soup…seriously.
I must admit to being nothing like those ladies that have cute pantries and labels and all of that…..the idea is really cute, but I’m pretty much so busy keeping my family fed and alive that the pretty extras aren’t really high on my priority list….but I know you guys’ll forgive me, cause you’re cool like that!
One of my favorite variations is to saute some onion, grated carrot, and chopped cauliflower til tender. Add to the soup with some cooked cubed chicken, some milk and some broth….then add……wait for it…..curry powder! Curry and cauliflower are a match made in HEAVEN! I’ll be posting that recipe soon, and be watching on Wednesday for a slow cooker recipe that I’ve been eating since I was a kid (a recipe of my mom’s) that I recently used the cream of soup mix instead of condensed soup in….it turned out fabulous!