Years ago I found a recipe for homemade cream of mushroom soup and thought, "Hey, I should try that!" I just never got around to it. Besides, who can beat the convenience of soup in a can? Then I started noticing prices creeping up. And up. Not to mention the long list of unpronounceable ingredients in each serving!
So I took the plunge and tried to make it myself. It turned out thick and creamy, just like I wanted. And best of all, it can be made a few days ahead of time.
This is where menu planning comes in handy. I looked at my weekly menu and saw that I would need cream of mushroom in a recipe. So while I had a few minutes (and it only takes a few), I whipped some up and put in the fridge to use later in the week. Also, if you have mushrooms that need to get used up, make this soup and freeze it for when you need it.
Here's what you need:
2 TBSP butter
2 TBSP finely chopped mushrooms
2 TBSP flour
1 cup milk
1/2 teas salt (more or less to your taste)
dash of pepper
In a saucepan, melt the butter over medium. Add the mushrooms and saute for a couple of minutes until tender.
Add the flour, one tablespoon at a time, and whisk together. Keep stirring so the mixture doesn't burn.
When the mixture starts to bubble, gradually add milk. Keep stirring until the flour and butter mixture is incorporated.
Reduce the heat and continue stirring slowly. You will see the soup start to thicken. When it starts to bubble, cook for one more minute.
Remove from the heat and stir in the salt and pepper. Use immediately or allow to cool, then store in the fridge. This recipe will replace one can of soup.
See how easy that was? You can also use this basic recipe for other "cream of" soups. To make cream of chicken, use cooked chicken in place of the mushrooms and substitute 1/2 cup chicken broth for 1/2 of the milk. For cream of celery, use 2 TBSP chopped celery and a little veggie broth. And if you want gluten-free, replace the flour with gluten-free flour.