Today, I’m giving you an easy and healthy, homemade ‘cream of’ soup alternative to all of those processed ones that come in a can. I don’t know about you, but I have a whole slew of recipes in my mom’s recipe box that we enjoyed eating as kids growing up. You know, those comforting casseroles like my sourdough turkey cheeseburger impossible pie. It’s crazy to think that within the span of just a few generations, the tide turned from making homemade food to convenience food. We were no strangers to it since both of my parents worked full time and there were five of us kids. Today, I know I’m not the only one who sees convenience food as not the healthiest thing out there. I’m constantly looking at labels and coming up with better options.
Why I Kicked the Can
Now, I am not judging if you cook with canned, condensed soup. I get it. It’s simply easier to just open a can instead of making homemade “cream of” soup. I once had little kids in our home and a bustling schedule to match, so I can relate. However, I promise this recipe won’t take you hours of time you don’t have. The ingredients are minimal, in fact, there are only three. But best of all, there’s nothing in it with chemical additives. I searched far and wide for an alternative made with natural ingredients on grocery shelves and came up with a big fat zero.
My recipe makes a larger amount of soup than a typical can. However, you can freeze what you don’t use in your recipe. My very favorite containers for freezing are these. They’re not the cheapest but they’re food-safe, microwaveable, and don’t lose their shape. In other words, they are high-quality and will last for years! I consider them to be a welcome, sustainable change from the use it once and toss it mentality.
Let’s Talk Versatility
Although this particular recipe is an alternative for plain old cream of chicken soup, you can easily tweak it to just about any variation. For example, if your recipe calls for a can of cream of celery or mushroom, you can saute a cup of chopped celery or mushrooms in a tablespoon of olive oil and add them to the basic chicken broth based recipe. Potato? You can cook that separately and add it in. If your recipe calls for a can of tomato soup, you can use a can of diced tomatoes or chop up some fresh tomatoes and use them in place of the chicken broth. You can doctor up the basic mixture with any number of spices you have on hand to amp up the flavor, too. Looking for a really smooth consistency? Pour it into your blender and hit purée or use an immersion blender.
Healthy Homemade “Cream Of” Soup Ingredients
- 2 1/2 cups chicken stock (I like this organic one I buy at Costco)
- 1 1/2 cups of milk (I used organic skim)
- 3/4 cup unbleached flour
How to Make Homemade “Cream Of” Soup
- Combine the chicken broth and 1/2 cup of milk in a saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.
- Whisk your flour, any seasonings you want to add, and the remaining milk together until smooth with no lumps.
- Pour the flour mixture into the pan of boiling broth and milk mix and cook on low for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Do a taste test and add any remaining spices.
- Let the mixture cool to room temperate and then refrigerate.
NOTE: This healthier version of “cream of” soup is not as gloppy as what you scoop out of a can, so don’t freak out if you were anticipating that same texture. It will definitely get there once refrigerated. See?
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- This recipe calls for flour. I have not tried it with a gluten-free alternative but I think that would work.
- You can also remove the flour from the recipe and mix a tablespoon of cornstarch into your cold milk in its place to thicken it up.
- I used organic skim milk but you can use any variation of milk in this recipe, including lactose-free.
I am looking forward to making some tasty, down-home dishes with this healthier option this winter. If you try it out, let me know what you think!