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Cream of Anything Soup

Sep
3

Post by community member:


My husband loves soup. Cream soups are some of his favorite. There is Cream of Broccoli-Cheddar Soup, Cream of Celery Soup, Cream of Spinach Soup, and many more varieties. It’s become a bit a joke for me to ask him if he’d like a bowl of “Cream of Anything Soup” in the evening when he comes in from farming. That noteworthy name happened when the ingredients varied as he’d request the soup.

People think that a good cream soup is difficult to make. Not so. Once you know how to make the base for it, you can make many variations. The soup starts with a roux. A roux is flour cooked with butter.

We’ll talk more about making roux in a minute. I want to talk to you about cookbooks. I love cookbooks. I collect them, within the limitations that I have to store them. I have recently found the cookbook, ‘Ratios’ by Michael Ruhlman. I can honestly say that if given the choice of only owning one cookbook, this would be my choice. It deals with the ratios you need to make just about anything. Therefore, you could vary the quantity and other ingredients, armed with the knowledge of the basics.

Michael Ruhlman gives ratios for roux that are pretty much standard. For four servings of cream soup you melt three tablespoons of butter in a saucepan. You then whisk in three tablespoons of flour.

I let this cook for just a minute, but not until brown.

Then you whisk 3 cups of milk in. After that, it’s pretty much up to you what goes in. I will sauté a package of mushrooms, with a small amount of minced garlic, while making the roux. I then add the mushrooms to the cream soup base and stir in a bit of cream. You then add salt and pepper to taste. You can easily substitute sautéed celery or a handful of chopped, wilted spinach for the mushrooms.

Bon Appétit!


You can also find Patrice at Everyday Ruralty.




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Posted by on September 3, 2010 | Permalink  

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Comments

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  1. 9-3
    6:10
    am

    I really like the simplicity and versatility of this ratio idea! Thanks for posting.

  2. 9-3
    6:47
    am

    I think I may make this for dinner tonight, but with chicken and mushrooms… Thank you for the great post!

  3. 9-3
    10:43
    am

    Does this recipe work for recipes that call for a cream soup? I do not love all of the fat and sodium in store bought ones and have been looking for a replacement for a long time!

  4. 9-3
    10:53
    am

    I make cream-of-zucchini soup every year, at least a few times. It sounds weird, but is really very good.

  5. 9-3
    11:51
    am

    charleycooke-
    YES! It’s absolutely the only way to go to avoid processed soups. It not only helps you avoid fat and sodium, but it keeps MSG (which is in lots of canned soups) out of the diet. If you’re using a recipe that calls for a cream soup and your are really strict about fats, you can substitute olive oil for the butter when making the roux. It has no pretty, white creamy texture and it does taste like olive oil, but in a recipe for something like a casserole, it works fine and you get the added benefits of the healthy oil. Don’t try it for a cream soup that’s not in another recipe. Butter makes the soup the luscious, delicious thing that cream soups are supposed to be!
    I’m so glad you asked! I should have put that in this blog post. I do it all the time where I work and at home.
    Happy Cooking! Patrice

  6. 9-3
    12:06
    pm

    Thank you! I’m not too worried about the fats as much as I am the soduim and MSG, since I get horrible migraines and both of those are trigger foods for me. I am so excited to have an alternative that will work to make sour cream chicken enchiladas again! LOL

  7. 9-3
    12:18
    pm

    This is one of the GREAT SECRETS OF COOKING. If you can make a successful roux you can make–cream gravy, a cream sauce, a cheese sauce, creamed vegetables, and any kind of cream soup. Want to serve beautiful broccoli but what do you do with those unappetizing stems? Save them and make cream of broccoli soup or broccoli-cheddar soup the next day. The problem with these soups was always mincing up the veggies very fine but with a food processor–no problem. I learned to make a roux from my mother and grandmothers–after all what southern woman doesn’t learn to make a roux for gravy! But I credit Julia Child and the Art of French Cooking for clueing me in on the secrets of cream soups. Thrifty frenchwomen saved the stems of mushrooms or the stalks of broccoli, minced them and voila–a hearty cream soup for lunch with crunchy bread. YUMM and no waste.

  8. 9-3
    2:14
    pm

    Mmm How did you know that I am having garden chowder tonight. It is a soup that even my husband likes. Could it be the shredded cheddar cheese that is added at the last minute the big attraction for him. Thanks for sharing. My recipe of Garden Chowder is very similiar to the recipe that you posted

  9. 9-3
    8:23
    pm

    Wow, Patrice! This is fabulous! Thank you! My husband loves cream soups too, but we buy them all in the can. I’m going to make this with either leeks or mushrooms, soon, and maybe chicken too. Sounds ymummy!

  10. 9-3
    10:46
    pm

    Hi Patrice!
    Thanks so much for sharing this recipe. My husband and I love cream soups and I’m always on the look for homemade versions of old favorites with no artificial ingredients!
    Thanks also for the plug on the book–we’ll be sharing this info on stickhorsecowgirls.blogspot soon!We love to refer our readers to other blogs and sites we find interesting!

  11. 11-16
    2:03
    pm

    I just found this while randomly browsing the site, and it looks like this could be made even easier/quicker when combined with the White Sauce Butter Balls Suzanne recently posted about! Thanks for the idea!

    http://chickensintheroad.com/cooking/white-sauce-butter-balls/

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