Are you tired of “salt pills” that come packaged as condensed cream soups? Maybe they aren’t available where you live, or perhaps it’s Thanksgiving eve and you can’t find any in the pantry to make Aunt Bertha’s casserole.
Here is a quick way to make it yourself at home. You control the salt. You control the seasonings. You control the freshness.
So far, I’ve tackled condensed cream of mushroom, condensed cream of celery and now, condensed cream of chicken soup. If you care about such things, they all just happen to be gluten-free as far as I know.
This recipe is the simplest yet. Whisk all ingredients together and microwave for 3 minutes, or longer if you have a slow or older microwave. For those of you who don’t do microwaves, cook it gently on top of the stove, stirring frequently until it thickens.
The primary source of chicken flavor is the Better Than Bouillon chicken base pictured above. I prefer it over bouillon cubes or store-bought chicken broth. The only thing that tastes better would be homemade chicken stock, but to use it in this soup would require a major reduction and way more time than 5 minutes. This chicken base is much easier. I highly recommend the organic reduced sodium chicken base. (I buy mine at Costco.) The regular reduced sodium chicken base has 500 mg sodium per serving compared to the 350 mg per serving as seen on the label above. Translation: Using the organic, reduced sodium Better Than Bouillon Chicken Base will yield a product with roughly half the the amount of sodium as the condensed cream of chicken soup sold in the red can.
The most frequently asked question about the other cream soups was, “Can I freeze it?” In my experience, yes. It will separate slightly but a quick warm-up in the microwave followed by a vigorous whisking will restore the original creamy texture.
- 1-1/4 cup 2% evaporated milk (see note about milk)
- 1 tablespoon olive or vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoons chicken base
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- ⅛ teaspoon white pepper
- 1-2 tablespoons finely chopped, cooked chicken
- Whisk together in a microwave-safe glass container no less that 1 qt in size. Microwave on HIGH for 3 minutes until very thick, stopping to whisk mixture after each minute. Microwave ovens vary wildly so it may take longer in yours. Just keep cooking and whisking every so often until it gets thick.
- Alternatively, you may pour whisked mixture (see notes) into a saucepan or skillet and cook on medium low on top of the stove until thickened.
- If you are unfortunate enough to find lumps in your soup, pour it through a strainer. Add finely chopped chicken.
2. If you choose to make this on the stove, I recommend you mix it in a blender first, OR plan to push it through a strainer when it has been cooked. The chicken base doesn't seem to dissolve as readily as it does in the microwave so blending it first results in a creamier product.
3. Be advised that microwave ovens vary wildly. If your soup doesn't thicken after 3 minutes, keep cooking and stirring every minute until it does.