Monday, March 24, 2014

Homemade Cream of Mushroom Soup

We're foodies here at the Yankee-Belle Cafe.

Not that we're snooty or anything - we just like food.

Especially chocolate.

Or anything quick and easy. If you add homemade to quick and easy, you have a winner!

A few weeks ago, the subject of using canned Cream of (anything) soups in our recipes came up. Do we really want to add all the unpronounceable ingredients to our recipes? Or do we just want to feed our families and friends (and ourselves) good food?

This is a recipe I stumbled upon a few months ago, and I've started using it more and more. I'll still reach for the can when I'm pressed for time - but lately I've been finding the few minutes extra it takes to make this recipe.

You see, the thing that makes it quick and easy is that you do it in two parts - first the concentrate, and then the creamy soup base. I found this recipe at Gwen's Nest - another foodie blog :)

So here's Step One:

Cream of Mushroom Soup cubes

These cubes have all the mushrooms, spices and flavorings already cooked and ready to go. It only takes a few minutes to make them.


2 Tablespoons butter
1 pound fresh mushrooms
2 Tablespoons minced onion
2 teaspoons lemon juice (fresh or from the bottle)
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon thyme
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

If you're tempted to cut back on the amount of salt (or any other ingredient), don't. You're making the equivalent of twelve cans of Cream of Mushroom soup. Even with the amount of salt and butter we're using, it still comes out to a very small amount per cube, and each cube makes the equivalent of one can of soup.

Chop your mushrooms as fine as you want them. If you have family members who hate mushrooms, chop them very fine - even smaller than the ones in the famous canned soup.

I use my food processor and chop the mushrooms and onions together...

Melt the two Tablespoons of butter in a large skillet.

Add the mushrooms, onions, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, thyme, bay leaf, salt and pepper. Cook and stir until most of the liquid is cooked out and the mushrooms are fragrant (oh, I love that fragrance!). It will take about five minutes. When it's done, remove the skillet from the heat and take out the bay leaf.

Now it's time to get out your ice cube tray. I bought one to use just for recipes like this one. They work great for homemade baby food, too. (No, we're not making baby food at our house!)

Divide the mushroom mixture evenly into twelve cubes and freeze. Once they're frozen, move them to a freezer container or bag.

And the first part of the recipe is done!

Here's Step Two:

Homemade Cream of Mushroom Soup

I made a double batch for my meatballs, so there are two cubes
in the picture.

1 Tablespoon butter
1/4 cup flour
1 cup milk, or 1/2 cup milk and 1/2 cup broth
1 frozen soup cube

I used 1/2 beef broth and 1/2 milk for my recipe, since I was making Bandy's Meatballs for a dinner at church (recipe next week!), but you can use all milk, or all broth. You can use chicken broth or vegetable's up to you and the recipe you need the Cream of Anything soup for.

You're going to be making a cream base for the soup from the butter, flour and liquid - a thin gravy, really. There are two methods you could use.

1) You can make a roux by melting the butter in a skillet and then whisking the flour into it. And then add the liquid, whisking it slowly until it's all combined. Add your frozen cube, and stir while the cube melts and the soup thickens.

2) Since there's a large amount of flour compared to the small amount of butter, I used method #2.
Measure the liquids into a large measuring cup, then whisk the flour in (add the flour slowly to avoid lumps). Melt the butter in a skillet, and then slowly whisk the flour/liquid combo into the pan. Add your frozen cube, and stir until the soup is thickened.

Now your soup is ready to use!

The best part of these cubes is that you don't have to use them to make Cream of Mushroom soup. I've been adding them to other recipes to ramp up the savory factor. I'll be sharing these recipes in the future here at the cafe!

Meanwhile, enjoy your soup :)


  1. I love cream of mushroom soup. THIS IS FABULOUS.

    Now I want you to make French Mushroom Soup next.

    Mushrooms. + Onions = YUM!!!

    1. Okay, can you tell I was tired last night. Spring has sprung here and I did five hours of yard work. Should read...FRENCH ONION SOUP.

    2. Hmm...I've never made French Onion soup, but I love it!

      Should we start from scratch, with the beef bones I have in the freezer and end up with a thick slice of homemade french baguette dripping with melted mozzarella cheese?

      Or do you mean the powdered mix we throw into ground beef to make the meatloaf tasty? :)

  2. Oh, this is great!! I don't use canned anything like that because I have an MSG allergy (it's horrendous, you don't want to know the deets). But there are SO many recipes that use it and I've always wished they wouldn't... Whoohoo! My new alternative!

    1. I'm sensitive to MSG, too. Not horrendous, but very uncomfortable. I can take a small amount in my food - like using canned soup in a casserole - but I'd rather leave it out all together.

      But this is a great alternative. I really like how smooth and creamy it turned out. Tasty, too!

  3. Jan, this sounds amazing! I bet it's so rich and creamy. I can't wait to try it!

    1. It is delicious! It doesn't have that "certain something" that the MSG gives, (that chemical additive is an addictive flavor enhancer!) but I love the flavor anyway :)

  4. Oh, I can totally see these with grilled pork chops or baked chicken... Jan, the possibilities are endless! What a great idea! I love anything that helps me to spend less time at the stove when I'd rather be writing.


    I'm addicted to telling stories!!!! This is awesome!!!

    1. Just wait until I share my Chicken-Bacon Chowder in a couple weeks. I use these cubes as a base, and...oh, my!'s good :)

  5. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  6. Oooooh -- I love this. I love making things from scratch (and being able to pronounce all the ingredients!) I haven't eaten a canned soup in years and years and years but have to confess to missing cream of mushroom soup. How cool that I now have an easy peasy way to make a healthy version?!!! Love, love, love this. Yaayyyyy!!!!! This cafe is awesome!!!!!! You've actually managed to distract me from the -26 -yes-it-will-be-indoor-recess-again blues.

    1. Kav, I sure hope you get good weather soon!!!

    2. I thought of you when I was writing this, Kav! You can add whatever you want to these cubes to make the soup, so they're perfect for you!


  7. hmm I'll have to try this ...didn't know they still sold ice cube trays...hoo boy! I've been wanting some mushrooms but the store near me neve rhas any good ones - well they did about a year ago but it's been dicey since then on what you can find. I like the baby bellas in my eggs. not wild about the canned cream of whatever soups but it's taken away a lot of casseroles from my limited number of recipes! will have to try this and see..sounds good enough to eat by itself!