Can the Canned Soup!

I was discussing with some friends today how so many recipes these days call for a can of soup… and those of us who are trying to avoid additives and preservatives and too much salt (and dairy in a lot of cases) don’t use canned soup. As Doris Longacre says in the “More With Less Cookbook” (one of my old favourites):

“Contemporary casserole recipes all seem to call for a can of soup . . . Will there finally be only three flavours identified at a carry-in dinner – cream of mushroom, cream of chicken, and cream of celery? Buy a wire whisk and break the mushroom soup cycle. Save money and cans by returning to the basic five-minute white sauce. Variations are as infinite as the herbs and seasonings on your cupboard shelf and the cheeses, broths, and vegetables in your refrigerator.”

One of the first practical things I learnt to cook was a basic white sauce (by hand).  I now make this recipe in the Thermomix, it’s even quicker – but you can do it either way. It makes over 500mls of sauce, which can be substituted for cans of soup in any recipe (make with your milk of choice for a ‘cream of’ soup, or with stock for a clear ‘consomme’). To make a smaller quantity, halve the recipe and reduce the cooking time to 5 minutes. Check out the many variations you can make – you’ll never need to buy tinned soup again!

The photo above is a mushroom sauce made with this recipe – mushrooms and some red capsicum are sauteed first in oil, then butter/ghee, flour, chicken broth, and rice milk are added, with a dash of worcestershire sauce and a pinch of Rapadura, and cooked as outlined below. Delicious served over baked potatoes!

Note: You can find Fine sea salt, Aussie Kibble Pepper and Organic Garlic for this recipe in my online store!

Dairy Free 'Cream of' Soups
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  1. 500g milk of choice (see my Dairy Substitutes page for recipes)
  2. 50g cornflour or arrowroot flour (see variation below for starch free)
  3. 60g butter/ghee/macadamia oil
  4. 1/2 t salt
  5. other optional flavourings
Optional flavourings
  1. Parsley sauce - handful of parsley
  2. Cheese sauce - 60-70g strong flavoured cheese, cubed; 1/2tsp each mustard powder and paprika
  3. Tomato soup - 500g tomato juice; 1/2 tsp each garlic powder, onion powder, dried basil & oregano.
  4. Mushroom soup - 1/4 a brown onion; 2 cups sliced mushrooms
  5. Cream of celery soup - 2 stalks celery, quartered; 1/2 a brown onion
  6. Cream of chicken soup - 250g chicken broth; 250g milk; 1/2 tsp dried sage; 1 tsp tamari or coconut aminos or worchestershire sauce; 1/2-1 cup diced cooked chicken
  7. Chicken & corn soup - as above for chicken soup; omit sage; and 1-2 cups fresh or frozen corn
Other optional flavourings
  1. curry powder
  2. garlic, onion or celery powder
  3. nutmeg
  4. lemon juice
  5. worchestershire sauce
  6. tamari sauce
  7. chili powder
  8. chopped or blended vegetables
  9. chopped parsley/chives
  10. chopped boiled eggs
Thermomix version
  1. Place milk, flour, butter/oil, salt and optional flavourings into Thermomix bowl and cook 7 mins/90C/speed 4.
Traditional Method
  1. Melt butter/ghee or heat oil in heavy saucepan.
  2. Stir in flour and salt with a wooden spoon or whisk, stirring until bubbling.
  3. Continue stirring and add milk or broth. Whisk and simmer until smooth and thickened.
  4. Add flavour variations if desired.
  1. Parsley Sauce - Chop parsley first (5 sec/speed 7), then add rest of ingredients.
  2. Cheese Sauce - Chop cheese first (5 sec/speed 8), then add rest of ingredients.
  3. Tomato Soup - Use tomato juice as liquid.
  4. Mushroom Soup - Chop 1/4 of an onion or a stalk of shallots 3 sec/speed 5. Add mushrooms and saute in the butter/ghee/oil before adding remaining ingredients, 3 mins/100C/speed 1.
  5. Cream of Celery Soup - Chop celery and onion 3 sec/speed 5. Saute in butter/ghee/oil before adding remaining ingredients, 3 mins/100C/speed 1.
  6. Cream of Chicken Soup - All ingredients except chicken cooked as above; add diced cooked chicken and stir through.
  7. Chicken & Corn Soup - Make as for cream of chicken soup, adding all ingredients at once, except chicken; stir through chicken at the end.
  8. To add other veges to soup, place them in Thermomix bowl and chop 3 sec/speed 5; saute with butter/ghee/oil 3 mins/100C/speed 3; then add other ingredients and cook as above.
  1. Starch free: Instead of flour, use 2 Tbspns gelatine. Sauce will be thin at first but thickens as it cools.
Quirky Cooking https://quirkycooking.com.au/

9 thoughts on “Can the Canned Soup!

  1. CountryMama@The Cozy Country Home says:

    Thanks for visiting my site and the link to your post and blog! What a great post! I’ll definitely be visiting your site often, since we seem to have the same goals/objectives in healthier cooking for our families! Thanks so much for the great tips!!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Hi Jo, can this white sauce be frozen or s it best used fresh? Thanks for a great alternative to canned soup!

  3. Sarah says:

    If i was to make the cream of chicken soup, do I add 500ml as per the ingredients and then add an additional 250 chicken broth and 250 milk as per the variation?

  4. Joelene Mitchell says:

    Hi Jo,
    We’ve been using this recipe for years and love it. Particularly this time of year when we have left over turkey from Christmas.
    We make up one or two Turkey & Corn pies every year which is my other half’s favourite dish, and pop them away in the freezer for a later date. We use the Chicken and Corn soup (but leave put the chicken), then add it to a bowl of chopped turkey and throw in a packet of mixed frozen veggies. Such a simple pie filling to pop between pastry and bake until the pastry is cooked. Yummy!
    Thanks again Jo. (ILB from Forum Thermomix)

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