Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Cream Soup Mix at a fraction of the cost

Soup is a staple around my house. It's easy and it goes a long way on a smallish budget. That being said, I have heard that people pay a lot of money for good soup from a can. I don't like it. Most of the ones I've tried taste "canned". Can't say I love the metallic aftertaste in my soup. If I wanted to suck on a shower curtain rod, I would. Then I would hang there like my pet cat used to, just holding on by the teeth and flailing my paws looking for a something to sink my claws into. From that little description, you can gather that I am not very tall. Which has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that I am giving a recipe for soup. None whatsoever. You can also gather that I had a devilish older brother (the Professor) who not only tortured me, but the cat as well. Good ol' kitty did sink it's claws into the Professor's braces and ripped them out of his mouth. I believe that is referred to as "instant karma"...and MEGA kitty. The next big Hollywood movie will be about that cat, and I won't get royalties.

Where where we? Oh soup.

So on most days when I crave a good creamy soup, I reach for one of my personal soup mixes or start from scratch (depending on the time frame I have to work with). I do cook from mixes a lot. Usually they are my homemade mixes. They save me money, and I use that money to buy important things...like shoes. Lest you think me fickle, keep in mind that I only buy essential shoes. All shoes are essential to some women and I am not "some" women. My goodness...long way of saying I need shoes to walk outside in the hot Arizona weather. Yikes. My excessive need to explain myself is utterly scary. At any rate, here is the recipe. Try it. I've had a lot of good reviews from many smart people. This picture happens to be creamy tomato with dill and roasted garlic. Perfect on nights when I serve The Cheeseball...melt.

My Basic soup mix:
1/2 cup flour (or 1/4 cup cornstarch)
1 1/2 cup nonfat dry milk powder
1 bay leaf
1T dehydrated onion
1/4 tsp celery seed
2 tsp granulated garlic
2tsp salt
2 tsp pepper
2tsp thyme
2T bullion (optional) (omit previous salt if you use bullion)

I keep this mix in jars sealed and labeled for a quick dinner anytime of the year. They keep fresh up to a year (for best flavor) so please be sure to label and date clearly.

To prepare, combine soup mix with 6 cups water (for a richer cream soup, use milk) and whisk until combined over medium heat. Simmer 15-20 minutes. Add any flavor variations you like...
2 cups chopped broccoli or cauliflower, potatoes, corn, carrots, chicken, clams, crumbled bacon. If you want a cheese soup, be sure it gets added only at the very end after soup is off the heat or it will be grainy. This mix can also be used as a white sauce!

Have fun with this one! Also, if you want creamy tomato, you may add 1/2 cup of tomato paste, but be sure to also add 1tsp baking soda to keep it from curdling. Just a little tip.
Coming up soon...condensed soup mix. A great way to stretch your family budget. Come back and see me again! The "Condensed soup mix" recipe should be up by Friday.


Anonymous said...

I can vouch for they yumminess of this soup mix. The first time Steph shared this recipe with me I whipped up a batch and stuck the jar up in my cupboard...where it sat for a few months. Then I rediscovered it one night as I was scouring the shelves for something to eat for dinner....and this was the winner. SO YUMMY, and so inexpensive. Thanks for sharing Steph!

Megan said...

I love your blog! Angela introduced me to you and cooking has not been the same! I love your recipes and the entertainment that comes with reading them. I am grateful you like bread and are willing to share how to make it. I just read the post on how to shape it and you have answered questions no one has been able to before. Thank you!!!!

Chef Tess said...

Megan, you totally made me smile. Thank you for helping validate my efforts. If I only help one person have wonderful bread, I have done my job. Thank you!

Olivia said...

It's me again,


1. Can I use instant powdered milk? If so, how much?

2. Do I simmer the soup with the veggies already thrown in?


Chef Tess said...

Olivia, Yes you can use instant powdered milk. Whatever would equal 4 cups of milk when water is added (check the package--I believe it is 1 cup powder in that case, but it varies). Add the veggies after the soup has come to a boil and then continue until they are cooked through.