Frugal Food: Versatile Homemade Cream Soup Mix

By , November 21, 2009

I love this very versatile soup base mix that goes well with just about anything!

Cream Soup Mix

2 cups nonfat dry milk powder
3/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup instant low sodium chicken bouillon granules (or crushed cubes)
1 teaspoon onion powder (I have used dried minced onion as well)
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried basil (these herbs go with most recipes but can be changed to your taste)
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Combine ingredients and store in an airtight container (it fits in a quart jar with room to spare).

To reconstitute as a substitute for one can of condensed cream soup:
Stir together 1/3 cup dry mix and 1 1/4 cups water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and stir until thickened, approximately 2 minutes.

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Here’s why I love it:

I use it at least once each week to thicken sauces, for a quick version of homemade macaroni and cheese, wild mushroom soup, curried pumpkin soup or for an easy leftovers casserole. It has lower sodium than prepared soups and is made from staples I have on hand anyway.

I got the recipe from a newspaper article written by Helen Idzorek, Nutrition Educator for the UAF Cooperative Extension Service, Juneau District. She said, “To make a casserole it is best to follow a formula, rather than a recipe. You will need: One-part cooked protein, two-parts cooked starch and two-parts cooked vegetables. You will also need sauce, seasonings and possibly a crunchy topping.” The rest of the article can be found here; search “one dish meals.”

Aly and I made a chicken pot-pie using the cream soup mix. We had leftover chicken and vegetables that needed to be used, as well as an extra pie crust from making pumpkin pie. (I have a two-crust recipe. Since I only needed one, I rolled the other out and put it in a pie plate covered with plastic wrap, and stuck it in the “fridge.” In our suburban life I would have put it in the freezer.)

We cut up the chicken, added it and its sauce to chopped onion, garlic and carrot in a pan. We added a small amount of water and cooked it until the veggies were soft. Then we added a mixture of 1/3 c. cream soup mix and one cup of cold water. This quickly thickened the mixture. We cooked it 2 minutes before adding it to the uncooked crust. We topped it with bread crumbs soaked in melted butter. We baked the pie in a 450˚ oven for 15 minutes. The crust was just browned, the topping was toasted and the filling was bubbling throughout. Mmmm! That was really quick and easy to do. It sure didn’t look or taste like leftovers either.

With Thanksgiving and its wealth of leftovers approaching, the cream soup mix can be used in many wonderful ways. I need to mix up another batch now so I have it on hand when I need it. Try some this week; you’ll love it too!

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