Homemade Cream of Mushroom/Chicken/Celery Soup

With the prices going up on groceries, cans of cream of mushroom [or chicken, celery, etc], are flying off the shelves at two and sometimes three times the price you’d pay for them only 6 months ago. It’s a tragedy. Many comfort-food recipes may call for up to 4 cans of the stuff, and if you have to feed a family, that gets too expensive. I was determined to make my own.

I’m going to share with you the foundation to make all three cream soups: mushroom, chicken, and celery. The pictures in this recipe below show me making the mushroom version. However, the base or “foundation” of any cream soup, is the cream of chicken. The process for making, and the order in which you make it in, differs with the mushroom and the celery versions. So let’s start off with the recipe for Cream of Chicken Soup, and expand from there.

INGREDIENTS:

6 tablespoon butter
6 tablespoon flour
1 cup chicken stock
1 cup milk
½ tsp black pepper
1 teaspoon garlic salt
Mushrooms: 8 ounces, finely chopped (Mushroom Soup only)
Celery, 8 ounces, finely chopped (Celery Soup only)
Celery Salt, to taste (Celery Soup only – replaces garlic salt)
Garlic Powder (Celery Soup only)

Directions for Cream of Chicken:

Step One: Melt butter in pan. Add flour to the butter and cook for about 2 minutes to make a roux.

Step Two: Add stock and stir. Once the roux is dissolved into the stock, add the milk. Cook until it starts to thicken.

Step Three: Add pepper and garlic salt.

That’s it! If you wanted, you could add finely chopped, pre-cooked chicken pieces, but the chicken flavor is already there from the chicken stock. If you wanted a bit more flavor, you could add a dash or two of chicken bouillon, and instead of adding garlic salt, just add garlic powder. (Bouillon is full of salt already.) You can salt to taste after it’s all done.

Directions for Cream of Celery:

Step 1: Melt the butter in a pan.

Step 2: sauté the celery in the butter until soft and translucent.

Step 3: Add the flour and cook for 2 minutes to make a roux.

Step 4: Add stock and stir. Once the roux is dissolved into the stock, add the milk. Cook until it starts to thicken.

Step 5: Add pepper and celery salt, and garlic powder to taste.

Step 6: Using an immersion blender or countertop blender, purée the soup to break up the celery until the soup is really creamy, not chunky.

Directions for Cream of Mushroom: (full step-by-step, with pictures)

Step One: Melt butter in a pan

Step Two: Chop up the mushrooms extremely fine.

Step Three: Add the mushrooms and garlic salt into the butter. The garlic salt will help draw out the moisture in the mushrooms. Cook the mushrooms until all the water has evaporated, and all that’s left are the mushrooms and the butter.

Step Four: Add the flour. Cook for a couple minutes to make a roux.

When adding the flour to make a roux, everything becomes “pasty” or like a dough.

Step Five: Add the chicken broth to dissolve the roux.

Step Six: Add the milk, stirring constantly and cook until really thick. Add pepper at the end.

All finished! It should be extremely thick and creamy and rich in flavor!

Preserving your Cream Soup by Canning: (*rebel canning* – at your own risk)

Put hot soup in hot jars.
Wipe rims.
Add hot lids and rings.
Pressure can pints for 60 minutes, quarts for 90 minutes at proper pressure for your elevation.

NOTE: These canning directions are for experienced canners only, therefore no detailed “how-to” instructions are mentioned. If you want to learn to can, there are plenty of good resources out there!

Hot out of the canner! I got 3 1/2 pints by doubling the recipe above. This is equivalent to about 7 cans of cream of mushroom soup you’d buy in the store, without a boat-load of ingredients you can barely pronounce! Healthy, whole, and simple living for the win!

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