One thing you will not see on the shelves in Paris, let alone the whole of France most likely, at least I haven’t found yet, is any sort of condensed cream of (insert ingredient here) soup. And for me, this is more than just a soup, it’s a foundation of casseroles and quick sauces that I prepare in the kitchen.
I didn’t realize this but the base of the condensed cream soup is a roux; a flour and butter mixture, that has been heated on the stovetop, with the addition of cream, stock and a few seasonings. All of these ingredients I already have in my possession.
If you find that you use this in your cooking on a semi-regular or regular basis and if you’re like my Mum, who when she went to the store, and there wasn’t any of any variety on the shelf, then have no fear! If you’re feeling frisky and fancy, don your apron, grab you handy whisk and let’s get crackin’!
- Butter- 4 tablespoons
- Flour- 4 tablespoons
- Cream- 1/2 cup – you can use milk if that’s what you have, I tend to lean more towards cream when given the option.
- Liquid- 1/2 cup:
- Chicken Stock/Broth/Brock-whatever you have on hand.
- Mushroom juice- I had canned mushrooms that I drained and used the liquid from the can as well as chopped up the mushrooms and threw into the pot for a cream of mushroom.
- Seasonings of choice: optional; I personally season to taste.
- salt (1/4 teaspoon)
- pepper(1/4 teaspoon)
- garlic powder(1/4 teaspoon)
- onion powder (1/4 teaspoon)
I highly recommend measuring everything out and having it ready to go before you start melting the butter. It will make the process a lot easier and seamless, trust me.
Also, get funky with the seasonings! Be creative! Let loose baby! The last batch I made I added 1 teaspoon of Creole seasoning I made and it was a party for my Shrimp and Grits and Creole Quinoa dishes this last week.
You’ll want to start out by putting the butter into your pot and melting the butter gently over medium heat. Once your butter is completely melted (it’s okay if your butter is bubbling, it’s very happy at this point), you’ll want to add in the flour and whisk continuously until all the flour has been graciously absorbed by the melted golden deliciousness (aka butter). It will look a little like mashed potatoes.
Now that you’ve got this mashed potato-like concoction, you’ll add the cream and liquid of choice next and whisk together. DO NOT GET DISCOURAGED! The ingredients in the pot will not automatically thicken. It will be runny at this point and that is perfect. Add your seasonings, if you so choose, turn up the heat a smidge and continue to whisk. If you would like at this point in time, you can switch out for your trusty wooden (or whatever material you prefer) utensil and continue to stir.
The key point right now is to continue to stir. As the pot heats up on the stove top, it will increase the temperature of the ingredients in your pot. As the liquid heats up and you continue to stir said liquid, you will activate the thicken agents in the flour and when the right temperature is reached your liquid will turn into a beautiful, thick and creamy soup.
At this point, take your pot off the stove top. You can stare lovingly at it as it cools, from a heat-safe distance. I add a little extra liquid to my creation because I know I will be keeping it in the fridge and the cooler temperature will cause it to thicken up even more, which is absolutely fine. It’s really up to you. Adding extra liquid (note, not cream or milk) will not hurt it, only adding extra love.
Store in the fridge or use right away, whatever floats your boat. There you have it, your very own, homemade, condensed cream of (whatever) soup! Job well done.
I hope you all are doing well and staying healthy.