Thursday, October 11, 2012

Cream of "Anything" Soup

Wow, I can't believe I let a whole week slip by without posting! :0 Sorry, folks! It's definitely not because I haven't been busy! I've got two different, exciting projects that I can't wait to show you, but in the meantime, I've GOT to share my latest discovery!


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Yes, I know I'm not a food blogger. Mostly because I'm a mom of 3 littles, and I'm too addicted to CHEAP, EASY and FAMILIAR recipes to fuss with FANCY or COMPLICATED. :) As a matter of fact, probably 75% of the meals I make are made with good old Campbell's cream of mushroom/chicken/cheddar soups.

So when I saw this recipe from One Orange Giraffe on Pinterest, I was a little skeptical-- I mean, NOTHING can be quite as good, or as easy, as Campbell's out of the can, right?

Sorry, this product is not "on the market"... but you can make your own!

Cream of "Anything" Soup

RECIPE:
  • 1 cup non-fat dried milk
  • 3/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup bouillon (beef, veggie, chicken, etc.)
  • 4 Tablespoons freeze dried minced onions
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon pepper 
For the equivalent of one can of condensed cream soup, mix 1/3 cup dry mix with 1 1/4 cup water. Cook until thick.


I figured I couldn't lose much trying it-- especially since I go through four or five cans of cream soups a week! (C'mon, surely I'm not the only one!) So I grabbed the ingredients at my very next grocery trip, and mixed it all up before I had time to chicken out :)

I keep mine in a glass dry goods container-- though not on the counter (that would be kitchen suicide with a 14-month-old budding climber around scaling everything in sight!) I taped the recipe to the side, so I don't have to dig for it whenever I want to mix up a batch-- which has been often!


Yesterday I made a beef stroganoff casserole for an elderly couple in our church. I followed my usual recipe, only instead of the called-for Cream of Mushroom soup, I cooked up a batch of my "Cream of Anything" soup mix and mixed it in. Boy, was it good-- waayyy better than Hamburger Helper! (And trust me, I like HH as much as anyone!) Here's the easy recipe:


EASY (GROUND) BEEF STROGANOFF

  • 1/2 bag of egg noodles, cooked according to directions, then drained
  • 1/2 pound of ground beef (or venison), browned  (I like to brown up a whole pound, use half in one recipe, and freeze or refrigerate the other half for later)
  • 1 "can" of Cream of Anything soup (1/3 c. dry mix + 1 & 1/4 c. water, cooked till thick)
  • 1/2 cup of Dean's French Onion chip dip (My "secret ingredient" substitute for sour cream!)
  • A "dollop" of milk (if the sauce is too thick)

I usually make this in a single pan on the stovetop, mixing all the ingredients together over medium-high heat until hot.  If you want a fancier presentation, just put it all in a casserole dish and add 1/2 pack of crumbled Ritz crackers (or 1/2 c. bread crumbs), top with 2 Tbsp. of melted butter-- then bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes, or until hot and bubbly!

Just today, I used the soup mix again, when my hubby called at noon to tell me he was bringing his boss home for lunch! I thawed out some pork chops (thank the Lord we had just bought half a hog from a neighboring farm!) and pan-fried them, then cooked up a batch of "Cream of Anything" soup and poured it over top! Creamy Pork Chops + broccoli chicken rice (from a pouch-- shhhh...), Jiffy blueberry muffins, and a bagged salad = an instant, "company-ready" lunch, ready within 30 minutes! (Including thawing the meat-- told you I like easy food!) So my fears about the dry soup mix taking too much extra time were definitely put to rest! :)

Plus, this stuff is practically foolproof, as well as endlessly tweakable! (Is that a word?) You can use any flavor of bouillon-- chicken, beef, or even veggie. If you want cream of mushroom soup, use beef or veggie bouillon; for cream of chicken, use chicken bouillon. (I used chicken base instead of bouillon, which made it even richer.)  For cream of cheddar, you can use chicken or veggie bouillon and add fresh cheese in when you cook it! Really, though, you can use one "flavor" interchangeably in any recipe-- I used my "chicken" mix in place of cream of mushroom soup for the Beef Stroganoff, and it tasted great!

You can also substitute spices if you don't have the "right" ones". I used oregano because I didn't have basil. :) The blogger from whom I got the recipe also said she substituted parsley for thyme. So you can end up with endlessly flavorful combinations from one little mix!

It doesn't look like much, but it sure tastes AMAZING when it's all cooked up!

Probably my favorite part, though, is that it's completely gluten-free! (And, depending on what kind of bouillon you use, it is also MSG-free!) No one in our home is gluten-intolerant, but my dad was recently diagnosed with gluten allergies-- and that's made me a lot more aware of the difficulties of dealing with celiac disease/gluten intolerance. (Especially since I couldn't make many of my favorite foods for him when he visited, because, you guessed it, Campbell's cream soups have gluten in them!) So if you are GF, and looking for an easy substitute for Campbell's cream soup, this is the perfect solution for you! :)

Are you a Campbell's cream soup fanatic like me? Dig out your favorite recipes and give them a try with this soup mix! Let me know what you made-- and what you think!











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5 comments :

  1. I'm loving this idea! I printed it out and will {hopefully} try it this week. I already have all the ingredients on hand.

    Thanks for sharing at Terrific Tuesdays.
    Rachel
    adventuresofadiymom.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  2. This is so much better than eating a can of chemicals! Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Absolutely! Gluten-free, and no MSG, or other unpronounceable ingredients!

      Delete
  3. Thanks for this alternate recipe. Can't wait to try it. One question.... I can't do corn either. Whst would you suggest instead of cornstarch? Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thanks for this alternate recipe. Can't wait to try it. One question.... I can't do corn either. Whst would you suggest instead of cornstarch? Thanks!

    ReplyDelete

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