HOMEMADE CONDENSED SOUPS TASTE WAAAY BETTER THAN CAMPBELL’S (CHEAPER, TOO)!
Ever turned a store-bought soup can around and squinted at the ingredients list? Yep, it’s like a science experiment there! When you grab those cans off the shelf, you’re not just paying for the soup itself. You’re paying for the packaging, the branding, and the convenience of having it ready to go. But guess what? When you make your own creamy concoctions at home, you’re skipping all those added costs and you can wave goodbye to those mysterious extras, additives and preservatives.
Yes, making your own cream of condensed soups requires a bit of time, but the money you’ll save is worth every stir. Whip up a big batch (takes less than 20 minutes) then freeze portions for quick, convenient meals. This way, you’re enjoying the convenience without the added cost of ready-to-eat canned soups. Plus, the satisfaction you get from creating something delicious from scratch is a priceless experience that’s worth every penny saved.That leftover chicken from last night’s dinner? Perfect for your cream of chicken soup! Those mushrooms and celery that might have been sitting around? They’re your ticket to creamy mushroom and celery delights. By using what you already have, you’re reducing waste and cutting down on extra expenses.
WHAT (EXACTLY) IS CONDENSED SOUP?
Great question! Condensed soup is a type of soup that has had most of its moisture removed to create a concentrated, thick consistency. It’s often sold in cans and can be found in various flavors like cream of mushroom, cream of chicken, and more. This type of soup serves as a versatile base for many recipes, and it’s commonly used in cooking to add flavor and creaminess to a variety of dishes.
When you purchase a can of condensed soup, you’ll typically find that it’s concentrated, and you’ll need to add water, milk, or another liquid to dilute it and turn it into a soup. This is why it’s often referred to as “condensed” – it’s a concentrated form that requires some additional liquid to reach the desired consistency.
ALL HOMEMADE CONDENSED SOUPS USE SIMPLE, CHEAP INGREDIENTS
It’s likely that you have all (or most) of these ingredients in your fridge and pantry right now:
- Butter or oil
- All-purpose flour
- Broth (chicken, vegetable, or mushroom depending on the flavor you’re making)
- Milk or cream (for creamy texture)
- Seasonings (salt, pepper, herbs, spices)
AND…ALL CONDENSED SOUP RECIPES FOLLOW THE SAME BASIC STEPS!
Yup..once you get the gist of one recipe, you essentially know how to make them all. Seriously. Here are the general steps you’ll follow:
- Sauté Aromatics: In a saucepan, melt butter or heat oil over medium heat. Add finely chopped onions, celery, and/or mushrooms (depending on the flavor you’re making). Sauté until they’re softened and aromatic.
- Add Flour: Sprinkle in all-purpose flour and stir continuously for a couple of minutes. This helps create a roux, which will thicken the soup.
- Gradually Add Liquids: Slowly pour in your choice of broth, stirring constantly to prevent lumps from forming. Continue stirring until the mixture thickens.
- Creaminess: For a creamier consistency, add milk or cream. You can adjust the amount based on how thick you want the soup to be.
- Seasoning: Season your soup with salt, pepper, and any additional herbs or spices you prefer. Taste as you go and adjust to your liking.
- Simmer and Thicken: Let the soup simmer gently for a few minutes to meld the flavors and further thicken the soup.
- Cool and Store: Allow the soup to cool slightly before transferring it to airtight containers. Once it’s cooled, you can store it in the refrigerator for up to one week or freeze it for up to 4 months.
Remember, these steps are just a general guide. You can experiment with ingredients and flavors to make the condensed soup your own. Making homemade condensed soup allows you to skip the preservatives and control the ingredients, and it’s a satisfying way to create a delicious base for a variety of dishes. So go ahead, embrace your inner chef and give homemade condensed soup a try – you’ve got this!
Recipe Tips When Making Condensed Soups:
1. Choose Quality Ingredients:
When it comes to homemade goodness, quality matters. Opt for the freshest of meats and firm yet ripe vegetables. Homemade broths give the better flavor than store bought, but bouillon powders work great in a pinch. The better the ingredients, the better your soup will taste. Trust me, your taste buds will thank you!
2. Cut Ingredients Evenly-ish:
When chopping your ingredients try to make the pieces uniform in size. This helps them cook evenly, giving you flavorful bits in every spoonful.
3. Sauté for Flavor:
Sautéing your veggies or meat in a bit of butter before adding the broth and other ingredients will infuse your soup with a delightful depth of flavor. You want that sizzle to make your kitchen smell like comfort!
4. The Flour-Butter Dance:
Adding flour to your sautéed meat or veggies and butter mixture is what creates that creamy, thick texture. Make sure to cook the flour for a minute or two to get rid of that raw taste.
5. Gradual Liquid Addition:
When pouring in broth and milk, do it slowly while stirring constantly. This helps prevent lumps and ensures a velvety smooth soup. It’s like a culinary magic trick!
6. Gentle Simmering:
Once your liquid is in, let your soup gently simmer over medium heat. This gives the flavors time to mingle. Don’t let it boil vigorously – slow and steady wins the creamy race!
7. Season to Perfection:
Season your soup with onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Taste as you go and adjust the seasoning to suit your preferences. You’re the boss of your taste buds!
Feel free to get creative! Add a touch of grated or cream cheese for extra creaminess or toss in some cooked veggies like carrots or peas to sneak in some extra veggies!
9. Blend It Smooth (If You Want!):
If you prefer a super smooth texture, use an immersion blender to blend the soup until it’s velvety and dreamy. If you like a chunkier soup, you can skip this step.
HOMEMADE CREAM OF MUSHROOM RECIPE
Homemade Condensed Cream of Mushroom Recipe
- 1 lb brown mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 3 tbsp minced garlic
- 1/2 cup red cooking wine (optional but adds depth
- 2 tbsp butter
- 2 tbsp bacon drippings (or substitute with more butter)
- 1 tsp dried thyme (or 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves)
- 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 2 beef bouillon cubes (dissolved in 1/4 cup hot water)
- 1 tsp seaon salt (adjust to taste)
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper (adjust to taste)
- In a large pot over medium heat, melt the butter and bacon drippings. Add diced onions and sauté until they become translucent and slightly caramelized, about 5 minutes. Add minced garlic and sauté for an additional 30 seconds until fragrant.
- Add the sliced brown mushrooms to the pot. Cook and stir occasionally until the mushrooms release their moisture and start to brown, about 8-10 minutes.
- Sprinkle the flour over the mushroom mixture and stir well to coat the mushrooms evenly. Cook for 2-3 minutes to cook off the raw flour taste.
- Pour in the red cooking wine to deglaze the pot, scraping up any flavorful bits from the bottom. Let the wine simmer for a couple of minutes to reduce slightly.
- Pour in the chicken stock and dissolved beef bouillon cubes. Stir in dried thyme, season salt, and black pepper. Give it a good mix and let the soup come to a gentle simmer.
- Allow the soup to simmer uncovered for about 15-20 minutes, letting the flavors meld and the soup slightly reduce.
- Reduce the heat to low and stir in the half and half. Let the soup heat through without boiling.
- Now it's time to turn it into that condensed goodness! Simmer the soup on low heat, stirring occasionally, until it thickens and reduces by about half. This is where the magic happens – the flavors intensify, and your soup becomes concentrated.
- Taste the condensed soup and adjust seasonings as needed. Add more salt, pepper, or thyme according to your preference.
- Allow the condensed soup to cool slightly before transferring it to pint-sized jars. Seal the jars tightly and store them in the refrigerator for a few days or freeze them for longer storage.
- Voilà! You've just created a batch of homemade savory condensed cream of mushroom soup. This versatile base is your secret weapon for elevating dishes with that irresistible mushroom richness. Enjoy!
HOMEMADE CONDENSED CREAM OF CHICKEN
Condensed Cream of Chicken
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 2 chicken bouillon cubes
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1 tsp celery salt
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp table salt OR seasonal all salt (adjust to taste)
- 1/4 tsp black pepper (adjust to taste)
- In a large pot over medium heat, melt the butter. Once melted, add the flour and whisk continuously to create a smooth roux. Let the roux cook for about 2-3 minutes to eliminate the raw flour taste.
- Gradually pour in the chicken broth while whisking vigorously to avoid lumps. Add the chicken bouillon cubes and continue whisking until they dissolve into the mixture.
- Slowly pour in the whole milk while whisking constantly. Continue to whisk until the mixture is well combined and starts to thicken.
- Stir in the celery salt, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and black pepper. Let the mixture simmer over medium-low heat for about 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it reaches a condensed consistency.
- Give the soup a taste and adjust the seasonings according to your preference. Add more salt, pepper, or other seasonings if needed.
- Allow the condensed cream of chicken soup to cool slightly before transferring it to pint-sized jars. Seal the jars tightly and store them in the refrigerator for a few days or freeze them for longer storage.
- Your homemade condensed cream of chicken soup is now ready to work its magic in a variety of dishes. Whether you're whipping up a casserole, a creamy chicken pot pie, or simply enjoying a comforting bowl of soup, your culinary creations are about to reach a new level of deliciousness. Enjoy!
HOMEMADE CONDENSED CREAM OF CELERY
Creamy Condensed Cream of Celery Recipe
- 4 tbsp butter
- 1 large yellow onion finely chopped
- 6 cups celery finely chopped
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1 tsp salt (or to taste)
- 1 tsp sugar (or to taste)
- 1/2 tsp black pepper (or to taste)
- In a large pot or Dutch oven, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the chopped yellow onion and sauté for about 3-4 minutes, or until the onion becomes translucent and begins to soften.
- Stir in the chopped celery and minced garlic. Continue to cook for an additional 5-6 minutes, allowing the celery to soften and the flavors to meld together.
- Sprinkle the all-purpose flour over the vegetables, stirring well to combine. Cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly, to create a roux. This will help thicken the soup.
- Gradually pour in the chicken broth while continuously stirring to prevent lumps from forming. Bring the mixture to a gentle simmer, allowing it to thicken for about 5-7 minutes. Pour in the whole milk, stirring to combine. Allow the mixture to come to a gentle simmer again and cook for an additional 5 minutes. The soup should thicken further.
- Use an immersion blender or carefully transfer the mixture to a countertop blender to puree the soup until smooth. Be cautious when blending hot liquids.
- Return the pureed soup to the pot if you used a blender. Season the soup with salt, sugar, and black pepper. Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed. Continue to simmer the soup over low heat for another 10-15 minutes, allowing the flavors to develop and the soup to thicken to your desired consistency.
- Once the soup reaches the desired thickness, remove it from the heat and let it cool slightly. To use the condensed cream of celery soup, simply open a jar and dilute with an equal amount of water, milk, or broth, depending on your recipe's requirements. Enjoy the homemade savory flavor in your favorite recipes!