Saturday, June 6, 2009

In a Pinch

I made beef stroganoff yesterday for supper. The recipe that I used was a crockpot recipe that I made sometimes on Sundays to be ready when church is over. The recipe calls for a can of cream of mushroom soup. Now really, can of ________ soup recipes are usually not allowed in my kitchen because of additives and sodium (disodium phosphate? autolyzed yeast extract? monosodium glutamate? 870 mg sodium? That's okay, I'll pass). Honestly, they're really not that flavorful either. I will make an exception depending on why I'm making the recipe. What I mean is, it means more to me to have a homecooked meal on Sunday (verses eating out, which is majorly expensive), so we'll eat the yucky mystery soup instead.

Well, it seems that when I went to the grocery store I forgot to pick up a cream of mushroom soup. I had cream of chicken, which I debated on using instead. But beef in beef broth, and chicken soup?! That just won't do. I thought I could surely find a website that could tell me a substitute or how to make the stuff. I guess I've just never thought about making my own cream soup before. When I found out how easy it was, I decided that cream soups are no longer banned from my kitchen!

Make Your Own "Cream of..." Soup

2 Tbs butter
2 Tbs flour
1/4 tsp salt (optional)
1 cup milk

In a heavy saucepan, melt the butter. Sprinkle the flour over it and stir to incorporate. Cook over medium low heat for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly. Slowly whisk in the milk.

Cream of chicken

If you want to make a cream of chicken flavored sauce, use half broth and half milk. If you have troubles getting this to be smooth, try heating the milk or broth before adding to the flour and butter. Bring to a simmer and cook over low heat, barely simmering, for a few minutes until thick.

Cream of celery or mushroom

To make a cream of something, saute 1/4 cup or so finely chopped celery, mushrooms, or onion in the butter before adding the flour and use half broth and half milk.

Now, to be honest I didn't use milk, as the recipe calls for. I had a 1-cup carton of whipping cream that was about to go bad, so I used it instead. It was so incredibly good! I don't think that I would buy whipping cream or heavy cream to sub the canned cream soup, because that would probably be more expensive. I didn't really want to use out milk because we drink skim and it's just not too tasty, especially in recipes. I'm betting that half and half would probably be a cheaper, thicker, and tastier milk item to use.

2 edifying expressions:

angeliqueshara said...

There are some recipes for cream of ____ mix on line that use powdered skim milk and are storeable. I haven't tried them yet though. The only one I know of off hand is: :)

Tammy said...

Great recipe for cream soup, and SO much healthier than the canned version! :o)