“Cream of” soups. They are a foundational ingredient in many casserole, soup, and breakfast bake recipes in cookbooks here in the Midwest. Most homemakers have their pantries well stocked with these cans of soup, because cream of soup can take random ingredients and turn them into something amazing.
When we began cleaning up our diet as we had children, I started reading ingredients labels. Unfortunately, many cream of soups contain GMO corn and soy byproducts, MSG (monosodium glutamate, yeast extract), and a few other questionable ingredients. As much as I loved the creamy goodness of these soups in our meals, I just couldn’t bring myself to buy them anymore.
Thankfully, I learned how to make homemade cream of anything soup. It uses ingredients I am comfortable serving to my family, tastes 1000x better, and I can customize it to whatever dish I am making. But the best part: it is super easy to make. I urge you to try this recipe just once. The taste alone may convert you into a homemade cream of soup connoisseur!
If you still use canned cream of soups, it’s ok. I am not condemning anyone. (This world has too many big issues to worry about soup!) We can still be friends and embrace our differences, preferably while sharing a large baked from scratch chocolate cake. Because there is a place for indulging, and I am not giving up chocolate anytime soon!
Homemade Cream of Anything Soup
Makes enough for a 9×13 Casserole (about 3 cups soup.)
Note: to make as a substitute for condensed cream of soups, decrease the butter and flour to ¼ cup each, and decrease the milk to 1 cup.
½ Cup Salted Butter
½ Cup All Purpose Flour
2 ½ Cups Whole Milk
¼ tsp. Fresh Cracked Black Pepper
½ tsp. garlic powder
½ tsp. onion powder
½ tsp. each dried parsley and oregano
Optional Ingredients (all sautéed and added at the end of cooking):
½ Cup Chopped Mushrooms, for cream of mushroom soup
½ Cup Chopped Celery, for cream of celery soup
½ Cup Chopped Onion, because everything should have onion!
½ Cup Diced Chicken, for cream of chicken soup
In a medium saucepan, melt butter on medium heat. Once melted, add the flour and seasonings and whisk to incorporate. Cook for a few minutes, until bubbly. Carefully add the milk, a ½ cup at a time and whisk to fully incorporate.
Allow the mixture to thicken slightly over medium heat. Let it come to a simmer, but do not boil. It should coat the back of a spoon. Taste for flavor and add the optional ingredients, if using.
This can be customized for so many different dishes. I love to add 2 cups of sharp cheddar cheese at the end, pour over cooked noodles, and bake for the most amazing homemade mac and cheese!
Keep, refrigerated for up to one week, or freeze in an airtight container up to 3 months.