Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Passing Up the Cream of Anything Soup

Do you recognize the following ingredients?( WATER, MUSHROOMS, VEGETABLE OIL (CORN, COTTONSEED, CANOLA, AND/OR SOYBEAN), MODIFIED FOOD STARCH, WHEAT FLOUR, CONTAINS LESS THAN 2% OF: SALT, MONOSODIUM GLUTAMATE, SOY PROTEIN CONCENTRATE, DEHYDRATED CREAM (CREAM [MILK], SOY LECITHIN), YEAST EXTRACT, FLAVORING, DEHYDRATED GARLIC.) These are some of the ingredients found in most canned condensed creamed soups, varying slightly depending on the flavor.

From where do some of the ingredients originate? What would be the source of the flavoring? What starch is used for the modified food starch?  Want the MSG?  Soy Lecithin is in many of the processed foods we eat.  Do we need to limit the soy lecithin in our diet after reading the included source of information? 

 It is getting almost impossible to limit the toxic chemicals and harmful ingredients even if we eat only fresh fruits and vegetables. Yep, we can eat organic and try to limit the amount of toxic ingredients we know we are eating but, it is getting more expensive to eat that way and be healthy. Then, for some people, there is the hidden dreaded wheat, which for some, the body cannot tolerate.  

I gave up using the recipes that use creamed soup because the soup is thickened with wheat. Also, many of the other ingredients in the canned soups are preservatives that allow the soup to sit on shelves for years. I thought it took too much time to make gluten-free soup and then start the recipe in which to use it. This one simple dry master soup mix can help.  After reading many webstites about canned soup and homemade canned soups, I combined many of the ideas and came up with a few ideas myself . The main site from which came the idea was  

I added a few ingredients to the dry creamed soup mix which I thought made it taste better.  I, also, added the cream of celery because in my former self, I used cream of celery soup in some recipes. The recipes for the soups can be made more complicated if there is time, but the soups can also be made quickly if needed. There may be other ingredients which would make the mix better. If so, will you share your ideas?

You can always make it fresh without using the Master Soup Mix. The recipe made by Laura on this blog looks fantastic!  This blogger, Paula Rhodes,  also seems to make great creamed soups.  If I was going to serve soup as the main course of a meal, I probably would make it their way, even using their recipes. But using the creamed soup as an ingredient in a another recipe, well, this Master Soup Mix works for me.

Dry Master Soup Mix 

2 cups powdered milk
3/4 cup cornstarch
1-2 teaspoons onion powder (or to taste)
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon pepper (or to taste)
1/2 - 1 teaspoon garlic powder (or to taste)

One to two tablespoons of dried minced onion can substitute for the onion powder.


In a bowl, whisk all ingredients and place in a jar with tight fitting lid.  Store on shelf until ready to use.

Directions for making soups:

1.  To make the soups, add ingredients as listed below.  In a microwave bowl, whisk ingredients until there are no lumps.  

2.  In the microwave on high,  cook 1 minute.  Whisk until smooth. Microwave 1 more minute and whisk until smooth.  Microwave and whisk until it is the consistency of condensed cream soup.  (The times will vary depending on the microwave.) Use immediately as you would a can of condensed soup or as directed in the next step.

The creamed soup can be stored in refrigerator a few days or be frozen in ice cube tray. (Freezing in ice cube tray makes thawing much faster.  Also, something to remember, in most ice cube trays, one cube is 2 tablespoons.) 

Once frozen, pack in a labeled freezer container or labeled freezer zipper bags   To use, thaw and whisk until smooth.  Then, use just as you would a can of condensed soup.
Each recipe makes the equivalent of 1 can of condensed soup

To make condensed cream of beef:
Add 2/3 cup Dry Master Soup Mix to 1 cup beef broth.  Optional: small diced pieces of cooked beef

To make condensed cream of chicken or turkey:
Add 2/3 cup Dry Master Soup Mix to 1 cup chicken or turkey broth. Optional: small diced pieces of cooked chicken or turkey.

To make condensed cream of vegetable:
Add 2/3 cup Dry Master Soup Mix to 1 cup vegetable broth. Optional:  small diced pieces of cooked vegetables 

To make condensed Cheddar cheese soup:
Add 2/3 cup Dry Master Soup Mix to 1 cup milk and 2 cups fresh grated sharp Cheddar cheese.
Salt to taste since not using broth. (This can also be used for a cheese sauce.)

To make condensed cream of mushroom:
Saute 1/4 cup onions and 3/4 cup mushrooms.  Add 2/3 cup dry soup  mix with mushroom broth or vegetable broth. If in a hurry, rather than saute them,  pulse the onions and mushrooms until small but not a paste, and then add to the dry soup mix.

To make condensed cream of celery: (Two methods)
Method 1.  To 2/3 cup Dry Master Soup Mix, add 1/2 cup pureed celery, 1/2 cup water or vegetable broth, 1/2 teaspoon celery salt (if using water or salt free vegetable broth) 1 teaspoon celery flakes.

Method 2.  Saute diced celery.  Add 2/3 cup soup dry mix with 1 cup celery broth or vegetable broth.  Can also use celery salt if no salt in broth.  One teaspoon celery flakes add more celery flavor.

The amount of diced celery would be to your taste.  Start with 3/4 cup diced celery.

Since Method One for the condensed cream of celery soup, seems to be the most complicated, these are the steps for making it.

Condensed Cream of Celery:  Method One

1.  Roughly chop 4-5 stalks of celery.

 2.  Place the chopped celery in food processor.

3.  Process the celery until it looks like a slushy.  The sides will have to be scraped down several times. It made a little over a cup of puree.  Humm, looks like a smoothie.

4.  Then measure out 1/2 cup and add 1/2 cup water to it.  Vegetable broth could be substituted for the water.  If more celery flavor is needed, use more celery puree and less water. (What do with the left over pureed celery?  Freeze it in an ice cube tray and when frozen, then placed it in a labeled freezer zipper top bag.  Even better, use a vacuum sealer. The enzymes will still be active so it should not be stored a long period.  See idea one and idea two for longer storage.) 

 5.  Measure out 2/3 cup of the Dry Master Soup Mix to a microwave bowl with the cup of puree and water.  Add 1 teaspoon of celery salt and 1 teaspoon of celery flakes.  Whisk until there are no lumps.  Microwave 1 minute on high.  Whisk until smooth.  Whisk another minute and microwave 30 seconds if needed. Then, whisk until smooth.  Depending on the microwave, microwave another 30 seconds if needed.  The soup should have a condensed consistency.

It took less than 4 minutes, after the celery was pureed, to make the condensed celery soup.  How quick is that?  

Most any condensed soup can be made using the Dry Master Soup Mix. If the condensed soup is going to be used for a meal, whisk a cup of the liquid of choice in the condensed soup until smooth and warm to desired temperature.

Anyone got ideas for asparagus, broccoli, or spinach soups using the Dry Creamed Soup Mix?

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