Homemade Cream of Mushroom Soup! A perfect substitute for the canned condensed stuff, but entirely from scratch! Make ahead and freeze for later!
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I feel like Cream of Mushroom Soup gets a bad rap. If someone asks you for your wonderful recipe for Broccoli Chicken Divan and it contains a *gasp* can of Cream of Mushroom Soup you may (depending on the person you are giving said recipe to) get that look. You know the one. The look that says, “You are one of those people.”
I don’t believe in shame when it comes to food. I think it is perfectly okay to use canned soups in your cooking. My thinking wasn’t always pro-soup, but as I get older I get (I hope) wiser, I’ve relaxed.
But I felt like I couldn’t share all of the upcoming recipes on Little Home in the Making without offering an alternative for some of the less-than-popular ingredients. So I set to work making an alternative Cream of Mushroom Soup substitute that is made from scratch.
And boy, am I glad I did!
Making Homemade Cream of Mushroom Soup
Since my internet at the time was non-existent, I went old school and scoured some of the cookbooks I have on my shelf to see if I could find a starting point. I finally found something in Not Your Mother’s Make Ahead and Freeze Cookbook by Jessica Fisher (great book by the way! I’ve made many freezer meals from this book with great success). Jessica had a recipe for “Cream of Celery” and since I wasn’t looking to make a cream of celery soup, I got to work thinking about how I could adapt it for mushroom. So I settled on mincing a package of fresh cremini mushrooms and sauteing them in my favorite thing ever:
Butter, of course!
I knew that I wanted a thicker consistency for my soup than I had often seen on Pinterest and in other recipes I’ve tried. My version had to truly be thick, just like the stuff that slides out of the can with the rings still around the giant blob.
Okay, maybe mine isn’t quite that thick, but it’s close!
So I reduced the liquid considerably and adapted the seasonings to compliment the mushrooms. After some experimenting I finally got the result I was looking for: a thick, authentic, and homemade Cream of Mushroom soup! The surprising thing to me was that I found the batches that I used water in place of chicken broth were almost equally tasty. Generally when I’ve substituted water for chicken broth I was met with unsatisfactory results. So if you don’t have chicken broth on hand, use water without fear.
How Much Does This Recipe Make?
Another thing you’ll notice I have below is two recipe cards: one for a large batch, and one for a small batch. I couldn’t quite scale down the recipe to get measurements equal to just one can of soup without getting really wonky with measurements. My perspective on this is, if you’re going through the extra trouble of making homemade cream of mushroom of soup, you ought to make a larger batch. The small batch is equal to about 1-2 cans of cream of mushroom soup. I used the small batch of homemade cream of mushroom soup in my Poppyseed Chicken and Rice Casserole. Typically I would use 2 cans of store-bought in this recipe. I had what I would consider very consistent (and dare I say, tastier) results.
The thing to remember here is that homemade cream of mushroom soup is probably not actually any cheaper for you to make than buying cream of mushroom soup at the store, and in many cases, it may be more expensive. The real benefit of making this recipe is that it may be more favorable for your personal tastes or preferences. Also, you know what’s going in your food, and it’s just plain fun!
If you do happen to find butter and mushrooms on sale at the same time, make sure to make a large batch or two and freeze them for future casseroling adventures. I have used these freezer containers in the past with great success. I love them because they are a 2 cup measurement, which is a common measurement I use in my kitchen. This recipe has been tested in the freezer and it freezes great.
What Do I Need to Make Homemade Cream of Mushroom Soup?
- Mushrooms: You can use your regular button mushroom here, or the little brown cremini ones. Whatever variety you choose, make sure you trim off the woody ends of the stem and mince them fine.
- Butter: This brings such a rich, delicious flavor. I use salted butter in pretty much every recipe you will find on Little Home in the Making.
- Flour: I use all purpose unbleached flour in this recipe, but regular all purpose will work fine too!
- Milk: I like to use 2% or Whole milk in many of my recipes. This will mean more consistent results and a thicker end product than you would get from a lower fat milk.
- Seasonings: I keep it simple for seasonings with this recipe. You should have everything you need on hand,
- Parmesan Cheese: this is what I consider a unique ingredient and was in the original recipe for Cream of Celery. I kept the parmesan cheese here. It added a special extra salty flavor that really helped the soup taste authentic. It just wasn’t the same without it! I used the shelf stable green can stuff in this recipe with great success.
- 2 tbsp Salted Butter
- 1 8oz pkg Button or Cremini Mushrooms, cleaned, woody ends removed, and minced
- 1 cup Salted Butter
- 1 cup Unbleached All Purpose Flour
- 4 cups 2% or Whole Milk
- 2 cups Chicken Broth, or water
- 1 tsp. Onion Powder
- 1 tsp. Ground Black Pepper
- 1/2 tsp. Garlic Powder
- 1/2 tsp. Paprika
- 4 tsp. Table Salt
- 4 tbsp. Grated Parmesan Cheese, shelf stable variety is fine here
- Melt 2 tbsp. Of butter in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and toss well to coat.
- Saute for 5 minutes, or until they are lightly browned, stirring frequently to prevent burning. Set aside.
- In a large heavy bottomed saucepan (this is to prevent burning. Trust me, find a saucepan with a heavy bottom for sauces in particular), melt 1 cup of salted butter over medium heat. As soon as the butter has melted, add the flour and whisk well. Whisk constantly, until the flour is well absorbed and the mixture has started to change color just slightly. Be careful of burning at this stage.
- Slowly add the milk, continuing to whisk as you do so. This will become very thick, very quick. Just keep whisking.
- Once all of the milk is added, add the chicken broth or water in the same manner as you did the milk.
- Once both the milk and chicken broth have been added, stir well. Add the sauted mushrooms, onion powder, black pepper, garlic powder, paprika, salt, and parmesan cheese. Mix well.
- Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer for 6 minutes, whisking frequently to prevent burning.
- Pour into a large bowl and cool completely.
- Use 1 1/3 cup to replace 1 can of condensed cream of mushroom soup in a recipe.
Use 1 1/3 cups of the prepared Condensed Mushroom Soup to replace approximately 1 (10oz) can of the storebought Cream of Mushroom Soup in your favorite recipes!
This large batch makes the equivalent of approximately 6-7 (10oz) cans.
Adapted from Not Your Mother's Make-Ahead and Freeze Cookbook by Jessica Fisher
Nutrition Information:Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1/2 cup + 3 Tbsp.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 256Total Fat: 21gSaturated Fat: 13gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 56mgSodium: 1133mgCarbohydrates: 14gFiber: 1gSugar: 5gProtein: 5g
Nutrition information is an estimate only.