Because I am posting a recipe on Saturday that originally called for Cream of Chicken Soup, and I use this homemade substitute instead, I am beginning the "Do It Yourself Groceries" series with Cream Soup Mix.
This is an economical, low-salt, gluten-free, almost additive-free substitute for any commercial Cream Soup. For most casseroles I use water with the mix to make up the soup, but milk or evaporated milk can be used for a creamier consistency.
There is a range to the amount of cornstarch and instant bouillon. Experiment until you get the amount you like best. I actually do not put dry bouillon in the mix. I prefer Better than Bouillon Organic Paste to regular bouillon, and I just use the required amount of that when I make up a recipe. That way I can use beef flavor with beef and chicken flavor with chicken or pork. My husband does not like mushrooms, but there is a mushroom flavor available. To me, the mix, made up with water, is very similar to the commercial low-fat cream soup.
This mix is very economical, costing under $2 to make, whereas the equivalent in commercial cream soup would be $8 or so, even on sale.
Cream Soup Mix
2 c. nonfat dry milk
3/4 to 1 c. cornstarch
1/4 c. minced dried onion
1/4 to 1/2 c. instant chicken or beef bouillon
Combine all ingredients and mix well. Store tightly sealed in a cool, dry place. I keep this in the fridge. This will make the equivalent of 8 cans of commercial cream soup.
To Use the Mix: Combine 1/3 c. mix with 1 1/3 c. cold water. Either place in a saucepan and cook over low heat until thickened or place in a microwave-safe container and heat on high for 2-3 minutes, stir, heat 2-3 minutes more until mixture thickens.
The amount of the additions below will add much more to the soup than the amount in a can of commercial soup.
For Mushroom Soup: add 3/4 c. fresh, cooked or 1/2 c. canned, drained mushrooms.
For Celery Soup: add 1/2 c. minced celery that has been cooked in a little butter
For Chicken Soup: add 1/2 c. diced, cooked chicken
Cream of Vegetable Soup: add 1 c. milk and 1 c. chopped, cooked vegetables to made-up soup. You can use fresh vegetables by cooking them in the 1 1/3 c. water, mixing the Cream Soup Mix with the milk and combining the two together.
Cream of Tomato Soup: use 1 (8 oz. can) tomato sauce as part of the 1 1/3 c. water to make up the mix.
The original recipe called for dried basil and thyme. The range to try is 1 t. to 1 T. added to the mix. I omit this since I prefer to choose the seasonings for the dish I am making.
Saturday I will be posting a one-dish recipe using this mix.
Tomorrow we will be Cooking with the Journal.
Next Monday: Cornell Mix
I am linking this post to I'm Lovin' It at Tidy Mom