Cream-based soups are delicious and filling. They make for great comfort cuisine, and a hearty cream-of-anything soup can really warm you up on a cold day. Of course, you can buy canned cream-based soups, but it’s so much better if you make it from scratch.
Homemade cream-based soup tastes better, and can often be healthier, too. Canned soups usually contain high levels of sodium, so making them from scratch is one way to eliminate that problem. It doesn’t have to be a time-consuming or difficult process, either. Here’s how to make easy cream-of-anything soups.
How To Make Basic Cream-Of-Anything Soups
Basically, a “cream of” soup is a soup that has cream or milk (and sometimes, a thickening agent such as flour) in it, giving a smooth texture and richness to whatever flavor you wish to add. Generally, for your base, you’ll need a few simple and savory ingredients. Then, you’ll add your “anything” to create the flavor you want.
Here are a couple of basic recipes that will help you create a creamy soup base, then apply variations. The method from MyRecipes includes butter, minced onion, garlic, flour, chicken broth, whole milk, salt and pepper. You can then create cream of mushroom soup or cream of celery soup — or customize it for your own needs.
This basic recipe for cream soup base from Allrecipes is even simpler, using butter, flour, milk, chicken bouillon and pepper. You can then add the vegetable or meat of your choice. Some suggestions include broccoli, cheese, potatoes, pureed and stewed tomatoes, leeks or asparagus. The proportions given in the recipe will make about eight servings. You can adjust the amount of milk you add based on your desired level of thickness.
Most recipes for cream soup include chicken broth or chicken bouillon, but you can easily substitute vegetable broth, as Once A Month Meals does, or substitute ingredients such as soy milk and dairy-free butter.
How To Make Condensed Cream Soups
Often, recipes call for a can of condensed cream soup, which has had some liquid removed for a more concentrated flavor. You can make a homemade version of that, too, for yummy casseroles and bakes. This base recipe from Tastes Better From Scratch calls for milk, cornstarch, butter, bouillon, salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder and dried parsley flakes. It takes just 10 minutes to come together, making for a quick and easy alternative to canned, condensed soup.
You’ll start by whisking together the milk and cornstarch in a small saucepan. Next, you’ll add the rest of the ingredients and bring them to a boil before ending with a quick summer to thicken. The base recipe can be customized with the addition of mushrooms, chicken, celery or other options of your choosing. It makes the equivalent of one 10.5-ounce can of condensed soup. Use the recipe to make a from-scratch version of green bean casserole, a Thanksgiving favorite.
How To Make Cream Soups With A Pressure Cooker
Cream soup can also be made using an Instant Pot. This recipe for Instant Pot cream of bacon soup from Pressure Luck Cooking calls for sherry wine, but you can also substitute additional broth if you prefer not to use wine. This rich and filling soup would make for a great weekday dinner on a cold night.
For the most part, you’ll want to use an immersion blender to mix your ingredients to a thick consistency and add your actual cream at the end when you pressure-cook creamy soups.
How To Make Cream Soups In A Slow Cooker
Making a cream-based soup in a slow cooker can be a bit tricky, but this recipe for slow cooker tortellini soup from Cafe Delites is made without flour or heavy cream. Instead, the creamy texture comes from a mixture of evaporated milk, cornstarch and milk. When you come home after a long day, this set-it-and-forget-it soup will be a welcome respite.
It calls for Italian sausage, but feel free to substitute in ground chicken, turkey or beef, or leave out the meat altogether for a vegetarian version. As with the pressure cooker, if you are going to add actual cream or milk, wait until the rest of the soup has finished cooking before you do so.
Are you ready to make some creamy soup?