Make cream soup from scratch

make cream soup

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.

make cream soup

Cream Soup Base

In addition to being able to make all kinds of soup, you can replace those cans of cream soups used in casseroles by making this cream soup base.
Course Soup
Servings 4 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 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)

Instructions
 

  • 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.

Notes

You can turn this soup base into any of the cream soups below by adding the listed ingredients.
Cream of mushroom: Add 8 ounces of sliced mushrooms, browned in 2 tablespoons of butter. A splash of leftover red wine goes especially well in mushroom soup.
Cream of celery: Add 1 cup of sliced celery, steamed.
Cream of broccoli: Add 4 cups chopped broccoli, steamed.
Cheddar broccoli: Add 1 cup shredded cheddar while stirring constantly, then add 4 cups chopped broccoli, steamed.
Cream of spinach: Add 4 cups chopped, raw spinach.
Corn chowder: Add 1 pound of corn kernels, 1 red pepper, chopped, and 2 small potatoes, peeled, cubed, and browned in 2 tablespoons oil.
Seafood chowder: Add 1 cup of cooked fish, scallops, chopped shrimp, or other seafood.
Cream of chicken or turkey: Add 1 cup of cubed, cooked chicken or turkey, and 1 cup of cooked rice.
You can add a chopped onion to any of the soups by sautéing it in the butter for a few minutes before adding the flour.

 

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5 thoughts on “Make cream soup from scratch”

  1. This is pretty awesome. I have done it many times for Shrimp and corn soup, crawfish and corn soup and not realized I was essentially making a cream soup base. I use several cream of”X” soups for various recipes, so now I will try this out myself.

    Reply
    • I’ve never tried to freeze it because I’ve heard that fat-flour combos tend to separate after being frozen. Maybe you could use an immersion blender to mix it up again, but I’m just guessing on that. Since this takes five minutes to make, I don’t think it’s worth the freezer space.

      Reply
    • You can make a batch of the butter and flour mix (roux) and just keep it in the fridge until you need to use it. That is what we did when l worked in food service

      Reply
  2. Thanks for the recipe. I will definitely try it with chicken rice and onions – also mushrooms. Great idea. I have plenty of chicken in the freezer.

    Reply

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