Not that we're snooty or anything - we just like food.
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.
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.
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 broth...it'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 :)