We have many family recipes that we love to use in the fall and winter, but the trouble is, many of them use extremely unhealthy ingredients. In particular, many of our family recipes call for canned cream soups, such as mushroom soup.
Campbell’s cream of mushroom soup contains several unhealthy ingredients, including:
- Vegetable oil (corn, soybean, or conola)
- Soy protein
- Soy lecithin
Canned soups are often stored for years at a time inside cans lined with plastic that can leech into the food.
I would rather come up with my own healthy substitutions for canned soups. Not only are they healthier, but they are also tastier, too!
The first soup I tried was the cream of mushroom soup. I cooked it up one day (everyone thought it was super-delicious), and then froze some to see what would happen. If you have canning equipment, I assume canning will also work.
The soup froze well and didn’t expand in the jar, which I was afraid would happen. I thawed it out in a warm pan of water on the stove several weeks later (you could also do the slow way and thaw it out in the refrigerator over several days) and it was just as delicious as the first day it was made. Use homemade broth and this soup will offer an amazing mix of beneficial nutrients.
If you would like to make your own homemade cream of mushroom soup to eat or have on hand for recipes, follow my recipe below:
Note: My recipes tend to be “chef-style” meaning you can change or adapt it to whatever you have on hand or to suit your current tastes. Usually, I don’t measure much, but I tried to keep an eye on things for this recipe to make sure it would be easy to recreate.
- 1 large onion
- 1-2 pounds of mushrooms (a few more or a few less won't make a whole lot of difference)
- 8 tablespoons of butter
- 64 ounces of chicken or beef broth (make your own broth and it will be even more delicious)
- 4 cloves garlic
- Salt, pepper, and other spices as desired
- Parsley or other fresh herbs
- 1 cup cream
- Melt the butter in a large pot on low heat. You will want to use a quite large pot because the mushrooms will take up a lot of space at first, but they will soon cook down.
- While the butter is melting, chop up the onions. Chop into bite-sized pieces- smaller if your family doesn’t like onion pieces. Toss them into the pot with the butter.
- Chop up the garlic or use a garlic press and toss it in with the onions.
- While the onions are cooking, chop up your mushrooms. If your family hates the texture of mushrooms, cut them small. Leave them bigger if you don’t mind the texture. When the onions start to turn clear, toss in the mushrooms.
- Cook down the mushrooms and onions until it begins to look like soup. This could take quite some time. Our mushrooms took about an hour to cook down to soup texture. Keep stirring and keep the heat low enough to prevent the butter from burning. You may need to add more butter if the mushrooms soak up all of the butter. Eventually, the mushrooms will release their moisture and the onions will be nearly invisible. When this happens, move on to the next step.
- Add about 4 tablespoons of flour to the mushroom mixture. You can use less if you like a thinner soup. Mix the flour in and cook for about 5 minutes.
- Pour the broth into the soup and stir. Allow the broth to heat to a simmer. While the broth is heating up, chop up your herbs and throw them into the soup. We used parsley, a bay leaf, and some coriander in our soup. You can change the herbs to match the flavor you want to create. If you are placing the soup in a stuffing recipe, for example, I would use the same herbs in the soup that you would in the stuffing. For a completely benign flavor, just use salt and pepper.
- Once the soup starts boiling, add in the cream. You can adjust the amount of cream based on how creamy you want the soup. Allow the soup to cook for about 20 more minutes to lock in the flavor.
Tip: Recipe for Homemade Cream of Tomato Soup
A frozen batch of soup should last for several months-possibly longer. Use in recipes or for a fast winter meal! We ate ours with delicious fresh bread.
What would you use cream soup for?