Cream of Anything Soup

Cream of Anything Soup is nothing more, really than the perfect amount of a white sauce to substitute for just about any Cream Soups in casseroles: Cream of Mushroom, Cream of Celery, even Cream of Chicken.

Not really designed for eating on its own (it’s not bad, though, just a bit plain) this is the recipe to use when the texture and or/flavor of the final product really matters, and the quality of ingredients is important. There’s no strange additives, no msg (or unclaimed ingredients that contain msg) and only the sodium is added by the cook or naturally occurring in the vegetables.

300px-Campbells_cream_of_mushroom

Cream of Anything Soup, a substitute for one can of canned

  • 2 tablespoons butter (oil will work as well if butter can’t be used.
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 3/4 cups skim milk
  • salt and pepper
  • Celery or Mushrooms, sautéed, or chicken base.

Melt butter in saucepan over medium low heat and blend in flour. Cook, stirring constantly for about 2 minutes. Blend in milk and cook, stirring, until thickened. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add sautéed mushrooms for Cream of Mushroom, sautéed Celery for Cream of Celery, and a little chicken base for Cream of Chicken.

Note for substitutions in Recipes:

  • If you are planning on using this in a dish with similar ingredients to the soup the recipe calls for (for instance, there is sautéed celery in your recipe and the recipe calls for cream of celery) simply saute the vegetables for your casserole (make sure there is an adequate amount of butter,) sprinkle the flour over the vegetables and proceed.
  • If your recipe calls for any sautéed vegetables, usually this sauce can be made right in the same pan – add the appropriate vegetable for the type of soup the recipe calls for to the mix. Make sure there is an adequate amount of butter, sprinkle in the flour and proceed. (For instance, a casserole that has sautéed celery and specifies a mushroom soup – you’d simply add the chopped mushrooms for the cream of anything soup to the celery.)

Note on recipe: Many used to the flavor of canned soups find this rather bland in the final product, and many recipes based on canned soup count on the high sodium and msg amounts in the canned soup to flavor the dish. Unless diet specifies otherwise, make certain to taste and adjust seasonings. A bit of Worcestershire sauce and celery seed or salt are two things that home cooks have been using to “amp” up the flavor of white sauces like this for years. A dash of sherry or bit of white wine may be appropriate, as well. For those on special diets, Mrs. Dash might be helpful.

Cream of Anything Soup – this one started with butter, the onions and red peppers used in the casserole and then mushrooms were sautéed, instead of using canned mushroom soup. The slightly pink tinge comes from the red peppers

Cream of Anything Soup – this one started with butter, the onions and red peppers used in the casserole and then mushrooms were sautéed, instead of using canned mushroom soup. The slightly pink tinge comes from the red peppers

 

‘I used the above white sauce to make Turkey Tetrazzini – in the post I show two photographs and two methods. One uses canned soup, the other the home-made Cream of Anything Soup. Although the white sauce by itself might not look that appealing, here it is in the casserole:

Turkey Tetrazzini made with a substitute for canned soup, cream of anything soup

Turkey Tetrazzini made with a substitute for canned soup, cream of anything soup

Nutrition:

  • Per Recipe: 416 Calories; 24g Fat (51.4% calories from fat); 17g Protein; 34g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber; 70mg Cholesterol; 490mg Sodium.  Exchanges: 1 Grain(Starch); 0 Vegetable; 1 1/2 Non-Fat Milk; 4 1/2 Fat.

Nutrition for a Can of Cream of Mushroom Soup:

  • Note:  the can clearly states 50 percent calories are from fat, but their fat does not add up to an expected amount.  (I find that very strange.)
  • Per Can:  250 Calories; 15g Fat (50 percent calories from fat), 2.5g Protein; 22.5g Carbohydrate;12.5mg Cholesterol;1740mg Sodium.

Put Your Own Spin on It: 

You could get by with a little less butter, or use oil like the canned variety to change out the calorie count. If the taste of the final product isn’t dependent upon the soup, just skip a step and use the recipe as a white sauce, omitting the vegetables.

My Pay Off:

Keep in mind that much of the calorie content from the homemade version is from the milk – something the canned variety has less than 2 percent of according to their can.  I can also be certain that my family isn’t eating msg or strange preservatives, both found in the ingredients on the canned soup.

Forgotten Arts:

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