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a simple real food recipe :: condensed cream of chicken soup

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This is such a great time of year to flip the oven on and create rich sautés, and creamy dreamy casseroles. I think I grew up in an area pretty rich in heritage for making good old fashioned casseroles.

broccoli chicken casserole with homemade cream of chicken soup

A few years ago I started trying to make my own cream of chicken soup after skipping out on these creamy dishes year in and year out. I was trying to avoid MSG and other toxic preservatives and thickening agents, and had already spent 20 some years of my life exposed to BPA lined cans and containers – I really was trying to heal hormones and not make any more damage than I already had.

So into the kitchen I went! And after a handful of experiments this is what I came up with. I have been batching this up once or twice a winter for the last few years and we all really love it.You really should be able to sub this in for any canned cream of whatever soup you have been using in your dishes! Enjoy!

You’ll need:

2 quarts chicken stock

3-4 TB friendly fat to cook in (butter, coconut oil, lard)

1 large or 2-3 medium onions, coarsely chopped

6 cloves garlic, chopped

1-2 TB organic poultry seasoning (depending on your taste)

2 tsp parsley

1/8 tsp paprika

6 cups good milk (Don’t worry about it being raw since it will be in the heat pretty good anyway. But a good organic low pasteurized, non homogenized would be good. Never ULP. If you are dairy free, use coconut milk or more stock for this part)

1 – 2 cups spelt or wheat flour (sprouted preferable), or white rice flour  (If you are gluten free, use white or brown rice flour – if brown try for sprouted)

Sea salt/pepper to taste

  1. Saute your onion in the friendly fat for 5-7 minutes to soften and sweeten. Use a pinch of salt to bring out the juices and sweeten.
  2. Add the garlic and cook for a minute.
  3. Add the stock and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer for a few minutes.
  4. Use a handheld blender to blend up the onions in the stock – can use a blender if you don’t have a handheld.
  5. Add the seasonings to the blended soup and bring to a simmer.
  6. While the soup is simmering, whisk together the milk and flour in a mixing bowl until combined.
  7. Add the milk/flour mixture to the simmering soup and keep your whisk going in the pot until the soup is nice and thick. This can take a good 10 minutes. It will thicken up more as it cools as well.
  8. Store in the fridge a few days or in the freezer for months.

Kitchen Tips:

  1. This makes 8 “cans” of soup. If you store in a pint jar it will be like 1 can – in a quart jar will be like 2 cans. I do up some in each since some of my recipes call for 1 can and others call for 2.
  2. If you don’t need this much you can half the recipe 😉
  3. This turns out to be more of a “condensed” chicken soup consistency – like what you get in a can. This is what I was going for because most of the recipes I was trying to make called for canned condensed soup. If you want to eat it like a cream of chicken soup, just add more stock or water to make a soup like consistency. If you think you want it thicker just add another 1/2 cup or so of the flour.
  4. I have tried multiple different methods for the thickening agent. Grain free did not work for me – I have tried both almond and coconut flours with failing efforts. Arrowroot doesn’t give the consistency needed for a condensed cream of chicken soup – it comes out more runny/slimy/gummy. I do use arrowroot when making gravy and I like it that way but not for this.
  5. I don’t use much cream of mushroom soup in recipes BUT this recipe really could be converted into cream of mushroom. I would sauté the mushrooms for their flavor and add to the stock. I’m thinking blend up the onions first before adding the mushrooms in and then pulse your blender in the mushrooms to how you like your mushroom chunks to be. I would let the mushrooms simmer in the stock for a good 5-10 minutes to infuse the flavor into the stock. Then add the milk/flour mixture. I would skip the poultry seasoning for cream of mushroom. Play around with it! Come back and let me know how you did!
  6. Read THIS about how MSG is hidden in labels.

YOUR TURN!

What are your favorite recipes to use cream of chicken soup in? Let me know what you think when you try it!

This post was shared at Real Food Forager’s Fat Tuesday, and Real Food Freaks Freaky Friday, and The Polivka Family’s Family Table Tuesday!

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  • Bonnie
    July 23, 2014 at 12:07 am

    how would I can this?

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  • Courtney @ The Polivka Family
    December 9, 2012 at 6:18 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing this on Family Table Tuesday! This was EXACTLY the recipe I was looking for this month! 🙂

    • Renee
      December 9, 2012 at 6:38 pm

      Great Courtney! Thanks! Let me know how it works in what you use it for!

  • Jen
    November 30, 2012 at 11:13 am

    Renee! This sounds wonderful. I ‘ve never made Cream of Chicken Soup before. Not sure if the hubs will like it (They something similar in their culture called Arroz Caldo, but with ginger and whole rice), but it reminds me of my childhood and I am sure it’s better than the canned version I used to eat. YUM!

    • Renee
      November 30, 2012 at 11:17 am

      That’s so great Jen! Did you just eat it straight up?! I don’t think I ever did that but we had casseroles like weekly at least while I grew up LOL 🙂 You could play around with the seasoning blend to your hubby’s taste with like ginger and stuff??!! I ended up making a batch for a friend that is gluten free using the rice flour and I actually think I liked the texture better…and since reading up on the whole white rice thing I didn’t even go for the sprouted brown rice flour – just dumped in some white rice flour and it was so easy 🙂

  • Pamella
    November 23, 2012 at 1:10 am

    This came for me at a perfect time! I was just looking through my cabinets thinking about how I would love to replace those condensed soups in recipes and this is my answer! I’m slowly trying to get my family on the real food diet.

    • Renee
      November 23, 2012 at 2:35 pm

      That’s so great Pamella! I’m so glad this will help!

  • Judy
    November 22, 2012 at 12:00 am

    I am so excited to have found this! I am getting ready to embark upon a new, clean-eating lifestyle, and this totally fits into it. Thank you!!

    • Renee
      November 22, 2012 at 7:15 am

      Hi Judy! Fantastic decision! Keep me posted how you are doing 🙂 I always say you really shouldn’t have to deprive yourself too much when going clean with your eating – there is a way to make just about everything 😉 Let me know if I can help at all!

  • Mary Beth Elderton
    November 21, 2012 at 10:42 am

    Thank you! I am working to drastically reduce the number of canned foods I use, and the condensed soups have been a stickler, because so many recipes call for them. This may solve the problem. *pinned*

    • Renee
      November 21, 2012 at 11:27 am

      Ah yes! Perfect! So glad this will help! Enjoy those dishes this winter! Let me know how you think it works 😉