Homemade Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup
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One of the quintessential ingredients in many homemade casseroles is Cream of Mushroom Soup. Mix a few vegetables, toss in cream of mushroom soup, stir, and bake.
It really is an amazing convenience food, which is why it has been a bastion of “home cooking” for decades.
The problem is that cream of mushroom soup – as well as other store-bought “cream of….” soups – is made more of industrially refined ingredients than it is of whole food. According to Campbell's Away from Home division, the ingredients in their classic cream of mushroom include:
- VEGETABLE OIL (CORN, COTTONSEED, CANOLA, AND/OR SOYBEAN)
- MODIFIED FOOD STARCH
- WHEAT FLOUR
- MONOSODIUM GLUTAMATE
- SOY PROTEIN CONCENTRATE
- DEHYDRATED CREAM (CREAM [MILK], SOY LECITHIN)
- YEAST EXTRACT
- DEHYDRATED GARLIC
But cream of mushroom soup is so darn yummy – and so convenient! Thus, a few years ago I decided a homemade version was most definitely in order.
This is the recipe I included in my book, The DIY Pantry, and it makes the equivalent of one can of CONDENSED soup. If you'd like to make more to have on hand (so that it's just as convenient as having the cans ready to grab), just scale up the recipe accordingly.
Also, please note that this is a CONDENSED version – I've created this recipe specifically to have a homemade version on hand to replace the cans of condensed soup, and while it certainly makes a delicious soup to eat just as soup (as opposed to in a casserole) and provides excellent real-food convenience, if you're just in the mood to have mushroom soup for dinner, I recommend this recipe from Simply Recipes.
How to Store Homemade Cream of Mushroom Soup
One of the best reasons to make homemade cream of mushroom soup is to have it on hand for convenience. But unfortunately it can't be canned at home easily, as the pH is too high to do it safely.
Thus, your best best is to freeze it in useable portions.
However, do change just one ingredient in the recipe if you freeze it: switch out the cornstarch for tapioca starch. Cornstarch tends to turns spongy when frozen, while tapioca remains more stable. Arrowroot is not recommended, unfortunately, as it renders dairy products slimy and ropy. So tapioca starch is the winner here. 🙂
If you don't have tapioca starch on hand, you can use flour and butter to create a traditional roux and add the blended ingredients, but it is quite thick (since it's a concentrate), so it sometimes burns quickly, which is the reason I've created the recipe using starch in the blending phase rather than the roux method. This also has the advantage of being gluten-free. 🙂 However, if roux is your only option, go for it!
And if you'd prefer not to freeze it, you can always skip this recipe altogether and use our homemade mushroom bouillon cubes to pull together a sauce the next time you need to make a casserole. 🙂
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Homemade Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup
- ½ of an onion, coarsely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
- 4 tablespoons cornstarch, (use tapioca starch if you’re going to freeze the soup)
- 4 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
- 2 cups evaporated milk
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 ½ teaspoons sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ⅛ teaspoon smoked paprika, optional
- 2 teaspoons dried parsley, optional
- 16-20 large mushrooms, any variety, coarsely chopped
- Purée the ingredients. Place all ingredients except for the mushrooms in a blender and combine until the mixture is fairly smooth.
- Pulse in the mushrooms. Add the mushrooms and pulse until well blended but still a bit chunky.
- Simmer the mixture. Pour the entire mixture into a large saucepan and bring to a very gentle simmer over medium heat, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low and continue to cook until thickened, 6–7 minutes, whisking often.
- Use or prepare for storage. Use the mixture immediately or store in the refrigerator for up to one week. It may also be frozen for up to 3 months, although the texture may change slightly (it's still delicious and will work just fine in a casserole).
To Use in a Casserole:
- Stir and bake. Mix the condensed soup with the other casserole ingredients, according to the casserole recipe. Bake as directed.
To Prepare as a Soup:
- Heat with milk or water. Heat the condensed soup with one cup of water or milk and simmer until heated through.
Why couldn’t this be pressure canned like other soups, stocks and meats? There is definitely not enough acid to safely can it in a hot water bath but why not pressure can it where the bacteria would be killed off? I don’t see why this couldn’t be done. Could please explain…
According to the USDA, milk products cannot be safely canned at home, even in a pressure canner. This is because – according to them – “milk products encapsulate any bacteria in the product including botulism and this encapsulation prevents the heat used in the canning process from killing the bacteria,” thus rendering them not only unsafe, but quite frankly, dangerous.
Whether or not you agree with the USDA or trust they have your best interest at heart, botulism is real and it’s not to be messed with, so unless you have other information, I would tend to favor caution in this case. Which is a bummer, because it would be seriously great to be able to home-can homemade cream of mushroom soup, for sure!
The taste of Worcestershire sauce was very strong and distinct, I would recommend on leaving it out. (But if you really like Worcestershire sauce, use two tea spoons rather than two table spoons).
I mixed 1 cup cream and 3 cups milk and condensed it myself, took a bit longer than I had anticipated though. But the consistency was very good.
I’d recommend to add white pepper and thyme to the seasoning, it works well regardless of what casserole you’re making.
I made tuna casserole and will probably use this recipe again – sans Worcestershire sauce. 🙂
Oh. My. Goodness. Where has this recipe been all my life??? This was soooooooo good! I’ve made it at least twice a week to use in all my various casseroles, even sometimes without mushrooms when I’ve been out, and it turns out perfectly every time. I skip the last step for cooking it on the stovetop. I just dump everything from the blender into the bowl or casserole dish. It cooks and thickens plenty while it bakes.
Thank you, Nourishing Joy!!!!!! This recipe has been a lifesaver.