Divas: Simple soup switch is cheaper, healthier and delicious

You probably have lots of quick, easy recipes that call for condensed cream soups, like cream of chicken or mushroom. They’re pantry staples and I bet you have some in your cupboards right now. Have you looked at the ingredients? Go ahead, I’ll wait.

It’s surprising that soup with “cream” in the name has less than 2 percent actual milk or cream. Top ingredients are water, vegetable oil and modified food starch. It’s high in sodium and has practically zero nutrition. We can do better than that.

You won’t believe how easy it is to make DIY Cream of (fill in the blank) Soup. Here’s why it’s worth the extra bit of effort - it’s totally cheap! It’s delicious. You control the sodium, fat and you can easily customize it to your personal taste. Did I mention it’s easy? You may never go back to canned stuff again.

This can be used in any recipe calling for condensed cream soup. There’s a base recipe, so you can add chicken to make cream of chicken, mushrooms to make cream of mushroom, celery to make… you get it!

I like this recipe because it’s gluten free and contains only real food ingredients. It makes about a quart or the equivalent of three cans of condensed soup. Keep it in the fridge for up to seven days, if it separates just stir. You can make just the base and add ingredients like mushrooms or onion as you use it, if you wish. It can even make easy gravy or cheese sauce, too!

DIY Cream of (Fill in the Blank) Soup

What You’ll Need:

1 (12 oz.) can evaporated milk – skim, 2% or whole

2 (14 oz.) cans chicken, beef or vegetable broth

¼ cup cornstarch

½ teaspoon garlic powder

½ teaspoon onion powder

¼ teaspoon black pepper

½ teaspoon salt – or to taste

Optional add-ins – 1 cup mushrooms - minced and sautéed, or 1 cup celery - minced and sautéed, or 1 cup cooked chicken – minced

Here’s How:

Place all base ingredients into a blender and blend until completely combined. Pour into a large saucepan on medium-low heat and heat slowly to boiling, whisking constantly.

It will thicken as it boils and more as it cools. Add any optional ingredients. Remove from heat. Use immediately or cool and store in the fridge.

Slice the vegetables to the size you enjoy. I like mine chunky.

If you have picky eaters who pick out every trace of mushroom or celery, just puree the veggies completely in the blender while you’re putting the soup together. It’ll taste terrific and they’ll never know. It’ll be our secret.

Please note, this makes condensed soup, but you can add milk or water to get the consistency you want for a speedy soup.

Add a sandwich and dinner is done! Add shredded cheese to make cheese sauce or pan drippings to make gravy.

For crock pot recipes - because this contains actual milk, it may break down if left in the crock pot for a long time. So, add the soup in the last hour of cooking. Yum!

Fabulous Food by Patti Diamond from Divas On A Dime – Where Frugal, Meets Fabulous! - www.divasonadime.com Join us on Facebook at DivasOnADimeDotCom