What is your favorite ingredient to cook with? I have three ingredients that I never run out of: pesto, olive oil, and cream of mushroom/chicken/celery/anything soup.
When I first became a chef in my home’s kitchen, casseroles were my specialty. And 9 times out of 10, the base of my casserole was a creamy soup. As I progressed in my culinary skills (and years), I discovered how that these types of soups make a smashingly tasty sauce for potatoes, add extra flavor to any gravy, and make the creamiest soup (ironically)!
I have always been a foodie, but I am even more so after living for Europe for a year and a half. I returned to the States and discovered that America’s foods are not up to par with Europe. It’s not that they aren’t tasty (have you ever tried an Oreo, a jar of Alfredo sauce, or frozen ravioli?!?), it’s that they are loaded with unhealthy ingredients (aka chemicals).
I took a glance at my cream of mushroom/chicken soup cans. Gasp – they were horrible! In reality, I don’t know how horrible they are because I can’t read the name of most of the ingredients on the label. I’m assuming that if I can’t read the 9 syllable scientific words, they probably are not the best ingredients.
Thus, I created my own Cream of Anything Soup. It’s a dry mixture that is equally as thick, flavorful, and comparable to store bought cans. Use chicken or vegetable bouillon for cream of chicken or vegetable soup, respectively. Add a dash of celery salt to make it cream of celery soup. You catch the pattern!
The best thing is that it takes no time to whip up. I combine the dry mix with water. I microwave for one minute then I stir. I microwave for another minute, then stir again. I continue this pattern until the mixture is thick and delicious (usually 2-4 minutes). Then I use the homemade soup as I would any can of cream soup: in casseroles, with potatoes, or on my Weeknight Stuffed Peppers.
- 2 cups powdered milk
- 3/4 cup cornstarch
- 2 Tbsp dried onion flakes
- 1 tsp dried garlic flakes
- 2 tsp Italian seasoning
- ¼ cup instant bouillon, any flavor, crumbled
- Combine all ingredients into a sealed bag or jar until ready to use.
- To use: 1 can of soup = ⅓ cup of dry mix + 1 ¼ cup of cold water. Heat on medium-high heat (stove top or microwave) until thick, stirring frequently. Use this mixture the same way that you would use a can of cream of mushroom/chicken soup.
Want a more natural alternative to instant bouillon cubes? Skip the chemicals by using Better Than Bouillon (any flavor). Adapt this recipe by not adding the dry bouillon to the dry mix. Instead, add in 1 tsp of Better Than Bouillon to the 1 ¼ cup cold water right before making the soup.