Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Soup Tip [Homemade Cream Soups]

With soup season upon us, I thought I'd share a quick tip for making your cool weather soups [and casseroles] a bit healthier.  Rather than purchasing cans of cream-of-whatever soup, make your own!  I learned this last year and I know you will enjoy doing this for your family.

To make the equivalent of 1 can of cream of chicken soup, bring 1 cup of chicken broth to a boil.  While it's heating up, whisk 1 tablespoon of cornstarch into 1/2 cup of milk.  When the broth is boiling, quickly whisk in the milk/cornstarch mixture.  Continue to whisk for about a minute or so until you feel it get thick; then take it off the heat.  I add in a pinch of salt and a little pepper, but it's optional.  You're getting to control the amount of sodium here.  Even buying the "reduced sodium" version of canned still has more sodium than you need.  You could also add minced onions or other herbs if you wanted.  You can even make this cream of mushroom soup by adding some roasted mushrooms, or do cream of celery soup by adding in some celery seed or celery salt.  It's definitely adaptable to your needs.

Last night I made a big pot of potato soup.  While I was at the store, I was tempted to take a shortcut and buy cream of chicken soup, but after I saw the 40+ ingredients on the label I just couldn't do it.  One noticeable difference between canned and homemade is that the canned version just kind of slops out of the can whereas the homemade is creamy and fluid [read: not congealed].  Also, making your own cream soup is considerably less expensive--it's only pennies if you're using homemade stock!  If you're worried about it being time consuming, don't.  It comes together in about 3 minutes.  Three minutes to save yourself a little money and a lot of unnecessary ingredients?  It's a no brainer!

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