Thursday, August 23, 2012

Homemade Condensed Cheesy Soup Mix and a Meal in a Jar

As for today...this is a cheesy post. I'm just Oozin' with it. Actually...I should never really use the word "oozin'" when I'm talking about food right?  Is oozin' a word? If it is then it is a word that should only be reserved for medical journals. No. I think it applies to food. I think cheese can be (and should be) oozin'...but in a totally delectable non-weird Patch Adams kind-of-way. For instance, in a proper mess of Green Chile-Bacon Baked Macaroni and Cheese when it is in its golden perfection straight from the oven with a crisp crunching topping and the cheese is melty and gooey and divine with smoky nibbles of bacon and chunks of spicy green chilies...there is certainly some remarkable, life-changing oozing going on. Am I right?

Why do I bring up the cheese?

Well, I got a really fun e-mail from my friend Zak on the Cookin' Cousins that he had received from one of their readers. He said, "I have a blog reader that has been using your condensed cream soup mix recipe and was wondering if she could make condensed cream of cheddar soup by adding some freeze dried cheese. If so, she was wondering if you have a recipe for that."
Previously on their fabulous food storage blog, I showed how to make a really simple condensed soup mix that works outstandingly well for replacing a can of soup in casseroles and "what-not". Remember this recipe?

Tess' Condensed Soup replacement Mix

1/4 c Corn Starch or 1/3 cup ultra-gel
2 tsp chicken bouillon/stock granules
1 T  freeze dried onion
1/4 instant non-fat dry milk
2T  sour cream powder
1/2 tsp Chef Tess All Purpose Seasoning

Directions: Combine mix with 1 1/4 cups water whisking over medium heat.

Heat until thick, about 5 minutes. It will thicken more as it cool so don't add a lot of extra thickener or you'll end up with glue.

Yes. It does weigh just about the same amount as the contents of one small can of cream-o-gunk soup. Give or take 1/2 an ounce. I'm not worried. By the way,if you use ultra gel, you can skip the cooking step and just combine the full mix with the 1 1/4 cups warm water using a wire whisk. It will thicken in about 5 minutes. Yes. You did just make instant condensed soup pudding. Mmm...
*Chef note: Cornstarch will lose it's ability to thicken once frozen, opt for Ultra gel for freezer sauces.
Cream of mushroom: Crush 1/4 cup Freeze Dried Mushroom Slices down to 2 T crushed freeze dried mushrooms. Add to your mix.
Cream of Celery: Add 2 T  Freeze Dried Celery to the mix.

Today I'm adding some Cheese. Brace yourselves for evil-genius. 

To make condensed cheese soup you have two options: 

Option 1:  Replace the cornstarch or ultra-gel with 1/3 cup powdered cheese sauce. It will hydrate the same as the above recipe, but be cheesy. I like this one because it is just so stinkin' simple. You do not even need to heat the mix, just add water, stir and let it sit about 5 minutes. It will thicken and be ready to use.

Option 2: Use 1/2 cup Freeze Dried Cheddar Cheese with the mix. Have you ever tried our amazing Freeze Dried Cheese ? It is totally wicked! the most righteous kind-of-way. Yes. It tastes like cheese, cooks like cheese and works like cheese. It IS cheese. The only ingredient in the can is cheese.

Add the freeze dried cheese to the dry mix. Hydrate the entire mixture with the normal 1 1/4 cup of water. Stir over low heat until the cheese dissolves and you have a beautiful non-lumpy cheese-oozin' divine sauce of happiness. 

To make it into a cheese soup: 

Use 1 3/4 cup water with the condensed cheese soup mix. Add 1 cup of hydrated freeze dried vegetables of your choice. 

OR for a dry vegetable cheese soup mix:

1 batch of the condensed cheese soup mix (above)

with  3/4 cup freeze-dried vegetables (of your choice). 

Directions: use 2 1/4 cup water to hydrate the entire cheese soup. You may use less or more water depending on how thick you like your cheese soup. Simmer over low heat about 15 minutes, stirring often. Does that make simple sense?

This condensed cheese soup can, of course, be used to make something as simple as a meal in a jar that we call Cheeseburger "Helper". 

Chef Tess Cheeseburger Hamburger Skillet meal in a Jar

1 batch of Chef Tess' condensed soup mix (above)
1/2 cup  Freeze Dried Cheddar Cheese
2 cups elbow macaroni
½ cup  Freeze Dried Ground Beef
1/4 tsp turmeric (for color)

Directions: Put all ingredients in a quart jar with an oxygen absorber and seal tightly. 
To prepare Cheeseburger Skillet Meal: Put contents of mix in a 12 inch skillet (with a lid) Add 6 cup hot water. Bring to a boil and cover. Simmer 12-15 minutes until noodles are tender. Sauce will thicken a little more as it cools. Yield 6 cups prepared. 4 servings. 1 1/2 cup each. 365 calories. 6 grams fat.

There you go my darlings! Make some easy cheesy condensed soup. Enjoy!

I am no longer the corporate chef for Honeyville but we still love them dearly. My family is greatly blessed and relies heavily on the extra money brought in by sales tracked back to this site. This is also the company that packages and sells my spice line as well as my food storage cookbooks. Thank you so very much for your support. Xoxo!


Linda said...

Chef Tess just love your freeze dried jar mixes. Where to get your cookbook. and will you have more recipes, I think your videos are wonderful and love your energy,
Have a great day,

Anonymous said...

Chef Tess, recently found your blog and I love your ideas. I was wondering it you could substitute tomato powder instead of cheese powder to make condensed tomato soup. what do you think?

Ramona said...

Chef Tess, is the ultra gel instant or non-instant?

Janet said...

Hi Chef Tess
I love your meals in a jar. I'm making them for my grandchildren in college and they send me photos of the meals they make. They love them

I have a question on using coconut milk powder....can coconut milk powder be substituted for the instant milk in the meals in a jar? Some children have allergy to milk.
Thanks for your help

Janet R

Chef Tess said...

Janet thank you for your amazing comment! I love that you are using the jars to help your college kids! I haven't ever used coconut milk powder, but soy milk powder has been great in these. Let me know when you try it with the coconut milk powder. I would love to hear how that turns out.

JoyMarie said...

Dear Chef Tess
Thank you sooooooo much for your Meals In A Jar series. I just love them!!! I have just one question... it says in your recipe (above) 1/4 instant non-fat milk... I shouldn't assume... but... can I 'guess' that this measurement is 1/4 cup???

Diane said...

Holy moly, I can't wait to try the soup mixes. Chef Tess, you are the bombdiggidy!!!