Milkmaid's Recipe Box

FOOD, FOOD, FOOD! I'm such a FARMER at heart-- even a CALF knows that so much in life is about the FOOD! (A bit of a "bio" about me can be found way down near the bottom.)

You can find a recipe index entitled "Labels" down along the right side, starting below the picture of the farm. Then, below the "Label" list are pictures of some of my old "standbys"-- click on their picture and it should take you to the recipe.

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Monday, December 12, 2011

Tips on replacing the "Cream of ..." Soups

My thoughts/opinion on store-bought canned and condensed cream soups

I don't know that our family has specific issues with the MSG that is in so much of our 'purchased' food these days, but I've heard that some folks do not do well with foods that are 'enhanced' with it. 
Up front, I admit I really do appreciate the convenience of those "Cream of ..." soups, BUT!,... at the same time, I do not like that they often bring with them a dose/form of MSG and a higher sodium content than what I wish for. 

Recipes for substitute 'Cream of...' soups are readily available on the Internet, but,..... then I get to how they are put together... yes, calling for a dose of MSG in the form of 'soup starter' or 'bouillon cubes', etc.  Well,... that's where I lose interest in making them. 

Even more aggravating to me is the fact that some food processors might be getting 'smart to the idea that some people don't want to see monosodium glutamate (MSG) on the label', and could be giving it 'another name'-- the name of something that acts/does the same thing. (??)

My mother (and maybe yours, too?) made all kinds of great tasting things without the 'cream soups in a can'.  So,...

Since I started making my own white sauce for scalloped potatoes so many years ago, I know I can make a decent substitute for the condensed 'cream of ...' soups by combining a ratio of 3 tablespoons melted butter with 3 tablespoons flour, and adding 1 cup milk and seasonings,  followed by lowering the heat to nothing higher than Low-Medium and letting it bubble/boil lightly for a minimum of two minutes while stirring constantly (this is important for letting the flour 'cook').  This takes some close ATTENTION because of its thickness (I don't know why, but I find this easier to manage when I double/triple the batch).
For a cream of chicken soup flavor, I've followed the recipe for thick white sauce (as in the previous paragraph) using 1/2 milk and 1/2 homemade chicken broth (frozen ahead for things like this)-- sometimes, I add a itty bitty bit of 'rubbed together' poultry seasoning to it.  My poultry seasoning names its ingredients as:  Sage, Black Pepper, Onion, Celery Seed, Thyme, and Marjoram.

For a cream of mushroom flavor, I've made the thick white sauce as above and added some finely diced cooked/sauteed mushrooms, etc.  I've found that more of the mushroom flavor sometimes 'arrives' while baking the casserole.

So farm, I haven't made a substitute for cream of celery soup, but I'd just dice celery, season it and steam until tender-- then, add it to the thickened white sauce.  I may not end up with the "Real McCoy", but I think it would work well e'nuff for what I'm needing. 

With Internet access, it seems we can find pretty good substitutes for almost anything and everything--
EXCEPT for our precious loved ones, friends, and neighbors!

To make a gluten-free cream of mushroom soup, this link might be helpful:

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