I’ve been on this kick lately – looking over favorite recipes from years gone by and making them healthier. But recently I kept getting stuck at recipes that called for cream of chicken or cream of mushroom soup. I stay away from them. Even the “healthier” cans have a ridiculous amount of sodium and a list of unidentifiable ingredients!
Recently my husband asked for his favorite dish – my chicken enchiladas – which calls for 2 cans of cream of chicken soup. So, being the good wifey cook that I am, I made the dish, but not before making healthier changes to the old family recipe. One thing I did was remove the canned soups and made my own. It was surprisingly easy and hubby never noticed. (win, win!)
I’ve now done this with a number of recipes. I start with the basic recipe and then add items depending on the type of soup I’m needing. i.e. chopped mushroom, celery, onion, asparagus, etc. I chop and sauté these ingredients in butter before adding.
Cream of Condensed Soup
3 Tbsp. organic butter
3 Tbsp. flour (I’ve used Nutiva coconut flour and Bob’s Red Mill Whole Wheat Flour)
1/2 c. chicken stock (or any stock, really)
1/2 c. organic, almond or coconut milk
Salt and pepper
Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat then add the flour. Cook, stirring rapidly, until the mixture is thick. Since I was making chicken for my enchilada’s, I boiled my chicken and reserved the broth, but you could use a quality canned variety. Add the chicken stock and whisk until smooth, then add the milk. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring, until thickened. Remove from the heat and add salt and pepper to taste. This recipe is equivalent to one can of soup. I usually make this the day I’m going to use it, but if needed it will keep for a couple days in the fridge, but it’s best to use it the day you make it.
The above recipe has a great thickness, however, if you feel you need to thicken it more, arrowroot is a healthier alternative to corn starch. It’s an alternative, but I’ve never needed it.
Be looking for future posts with recipes using this method. I’m starting with a very simple one – very easy and delicious side dish.
Cauliflower & Broccoli Medley
1 (10oz) bag frozen cauliflower & broccoli mix
1 large egg
2/3 c. Vegenaise
1/2 c. onion, choopped
1 c. cream of mushroom soup (above recipe)
1 c. grated cheese (I use Organic Valley Raw Cheddar Cheese)
Lightly steam vegetables using a steamer or stovetop steaming saucepan. In a bowl, beat egg and then add remaining ingredients (except vegetables). Place mixture in a oven safe dish and lightly stir in vegetables. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.