You can easily make your own “cream of whatever” soup for reasons of economy or taste with a basic white sauce, a homemade cream soup base. Here is the base recipe for a white sauce and some variations so you can stay away from the canned soups.
Homemade Cream Soup Base
- 2 Tbs butter
- 2 Tbs flour
- 1/4 tsp salt (optional)
- 1 cup milk
In a heavy saucepan, melt the butter. Sprinkle the flour over it and stir to incorporate. Cook over medium low heat for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly. Slowly whisk in the milk and heat while stirring. This is your basic white sauce which you can use as is or add flavorings to.
Homemade Cream of Chicken Soup
If you want to make a cream of chicken flavored sauce, use half broth and half milk. If you have troubles getting this to be smooth, try heating the milk or broth before adding to the flour and butter. Bring to a simmer and cook over low heat, barely simmering, for a few minutes until thick.
To make a cheese sauce, add grated cheese and stir until melted.
Cream of Celery or Mushroom Soup
To make a cream of some vegetable soup, saute 1/4 cup or so finely chopped celery, mushrooms, or onion in the butter before adding the flour and use half broth and half milk.