Baby, it’s cold outside, and one of the best things for warming up on a cold day is a bowl of hot soup. For many people this means grabbing a can from the pantry, but there are plenty of good reasons to make your own soup from scratch. I promise it’s not hard! All of my children knew how to make cream soups from scratch by their early teens. And it’s not time consuming. Depending upon what kind you make, it will only take 5 to 15 minutes more than heating up a can of soup.
What’s so bad about canned soup?
First of all, soup cans are lined with bisphenol-A, which is usually called BPA. It is an endocrine disruptor, which means it messes with the hormones in your body. So, if your pancreas, thyroid, or ovaries are not performing optimally, it could be because of all the BPA and other endocrine disruptors you are consuming or absorbing through your skin every day. In addition to that, canned soups also contain non-nutritive food additives that are made from GMOs, which have been associated with a long list of negative health outcomes. To top it off, there is usually very little nutrition in canned soup because of the high heat required for canning, which also destroys the fiber. And they are often high in salt, sugar, and unhealthy fats.
How to make cream soup
In culinary school, future chefs are not given a finite number of recipes to use. They are taught how to do the basics, such as a cream soup base, and then how to personalize and expand upon them. You don’t need a dozen soup recipes. Using my cream soup base, you can make a dozen different cream soups, chowders, and cheese soups. I’ve listed a few variations below the recipe, but don’t be limited by that. The only thing you need to remember is that if you add liquid, you should reduce the milk by an equal amount. For example, I once made a chili con queso soup. I added a cup of cheddar cheese and a 12 ounce jar of salsa, so I reduced the amount of milk by 12 ounces. Really, your imagination is your only limitation.
Cream Soup Base
- 1/4 cup butter (1/2 stick)
- 1/4 cup flour
- 4 cups milk
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- white wine (if desired)
- Melt the butter in a pot over low heat so you don’t scorch it.
- Whisk the flour into the melted butter and continue to stir until all lumps have disappeared.
- Add the milk, turn up the heat to medium, and continue stirring until the mixture bubbles.
- Turn off the heat and add salt and pepper.
- Add a splash of white wine, if you like.