I couldn’t resist the pun, but I’m about to give you a really easy, tasty soup recipe, so that makes up for it, right?
So let’s be honest: I love Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom soup. That is, I love it in Canada and the US. I even love it in Australia, because although it tastes slightly different there, it’s still a pile of salty, comforting, delicious goop.
But here in the UK it tastes really different, to the point of being barely edible. It’s just…not good. It’s flat somehow, like it’s missing something. I don’t want to eat it here despite it being a staple comfort food back in North America.
I have tried to kick the habit before for health reasons because let’s face it, even though it’s tasty it’s a mega-sodium-bomb. I’ve tried a few homemade recipes that were really nice, but each took a lot of work and turned out much differently than the canned stuff (which I’m pretty sure was the point but sometimes you want that familiar taste).
Last fall I found this very useful webpage on how to make various “cream of something” soups, and I highly recommend it, especially if you have dietary desires where you need to swap out ingredients. It features a well-organized chart of how to substitute various items as needed.
I’ve been making the basic mushroom soup but tweaking it to ingredients here in the UK, which isn’t always easy since chicken stock is harder to come by. Folks here must prefer to use the cubes or the condensed stocks – many of which contain a lot of sugar – because that’s what’s most prevalent when searching the grocery stores for ordering.
So we bought a mega-pack of Kirkland chicken stock at Costco (which is non-trivial for us since the closest Costco is a two-hour drive away and we have no car), and I’ve been tailoring the recipe to fit one 500 ml container of that stock.
(Update: but when we don’t have liquid stock available, which is most of the time, I do use Oxo cubes to make up the appropriate amount.)
I’ve also cut a few steps out of the original recipe which I’d like to pretend was done out of a drive for efficiency, but it’s actually because I’ve been so tired that I messed it up once but it turned out just fine.
Thus, here’s how I’ve been making triple batches of cream of mushroom soup which I can then use as a tasty lunch and still store several 280-ml-ish containers of to have in reserve for recipes, since that is more or less the volume of a can.
Note that this recipe makes a lot of fairly thick soup with more of a garlic note than the standard canned stuff. I often add more mushrooms than listed here because I honestly don’t really measure them most of the time so much as dump “about that much” in. If you aren’t keen on the ingredients here, go back to the link above and use that resource to swap out in smaller quantities until you find the version that works for you.
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped (frozen is fine)
- 500g fresh or frozen diced onions
- 500g fresh or frozen sliced mushrooms (or more)
- 170 g butter (3/4 cup, 1.5 sticks)
- 4 tsp coarse sea salt
- ¾ cup flour
- 3 cups milk
- 500 ml chicken broth (store bought, homemade, cube-based, whatever you've got)
- Put garlic, onions, mushrooms, butter, and sea salt in a large pot. Cook until vegetables are hot and the entire mixture is bubbly.
- Add flour and stir to combine thoroughly, being sure to work out any lumps. Cook for one minute.
- Add milk one cup at a time, mixing thoroughly each time.
- Add broth and mix.
- Cook for 10-15 minutes until it reaches desired consistency.
- Eat fresh or store as needed.