I haven’t bought cream of cr*p soup in years. Sorry, that’s what I call it. This is why I don’t have my own cooking show. I disparage packaged goods with vulgar, yet catchy monikers. Anyway, why buy when you can make? And make without all the fillers, MSG, and odd chemicals?
Master recipe for cream of chicken or cream of mushroom soup:
Put butter in a pan. Melt it. (Measure how much you put in)
Add an equal amount of flour. Stir it around until the flour is absorbed and it looks like Play-doh, about 1 minute.
Add 8 times as much liquid as butter. So if you used 2 T. butter, you’ll add 16 T. of liquid (which is a cup.) Whisk it in and heat until smooth. I find this goes better if you stir in a little liquid at a time, letting the flour absorb it. If you dump in a cup of cold milk then the butter/flour makes a million little globs that you’ll have to try to delump.
Cook and stir about 3 minutes, until smooth and heated through. The longer you cook the thicker it will get. Salt to taste.
Note: 2T butter, 2T flour, and 1 c. milk makes about the same amount as a 10 oz. can of condensed soup.
Variations: Cream of chicken – add half milk or water, and half chicken broth. You can add chicken bits if you like, and you can use coconut oil and almond milk if you are dairy free.
Cream of mushroom – cook up some chopped mushrooms in the butter, then sprinkle with the flour and proceed.
Cream of celery – soften finely chopped celery in the butter, then proceed.
Let’s compare homemade Cream of Chicken Soup to Campbell’s Cream of Chicken condensed soup:
MY CREAM OF CHICKEN: butter, flour, milk (or water), chicken stock.
MY COST: 1/2 c. milk, 10 cents. Free vegetable stock or free chicken stock (I put my bones in the crock and simmer away). 2 T. butter, 20 cents. 2 T. flour, laughably cheap. Total: 30 cents, give or take.
MY TIME: 5 minutes
CAMPBELL’S: Chicken Stock, Water, Wheat, Flour, Modified Food Starch, Cooked Chicken Meat, Cream (Milk), Contains Less Than 2% Of Chicken Fat, Salt, Monosodium Glutamate, Soy Protein Concentrate, Dehydrated Cooked Chicken, Yeast Extract, Lower Sodium Nautral Sea Salt, Flavoring, Autolyzed Yeast Extract, Vegetable oil, Potassium Chloride, Disodium Inosinate, Disodium Huanylate, Spice Extract, Beta Carotene For Color, Soy Proetin Isolate, Sodium Phosphates, Chicken Flavor (Contains Chicken Stock, Chicken Powder Chicken Fat), Chicken Flavor, Butter Milk, Cream Powder Cream Milk, Soy Lecithin, Enzyme Modified Butter Milk Nonfat Dry Milk, Partially Hydrogenated Soybean And Cottonseed Oil, Lipolyzed Butter Oil,, Oleix Acid Butter Oil, Lactic Acid, Butter Flavor Lipolyzed Butter Oil? MSG? Sodium Phospates? That’s not good eats!
CAMPBELL’S COST: $1 – $1.50
CAMPBELL’S TIME: 3-5 minutes to heat on the stove, stirring until smooth. Like this post? Check out my other shortcut soup recipes, how to make Real Food Frugal Food, or follow me on Pinterest! Gotta have your Campbell’s? Save some money on it!
Originally published August, 2010.