It’s wintertime and meal planning seems to turn to soups, stews, and casseroles. For a lot of people that includes taking a shortcut by using some kind of creamy soup as one of the ingredients in their recipe. Unfortunately while this seems to save time it’s actually not a great idea.
What’s in that soup can?
When it comes to canned products there are number of ingredients that are used in order to make the product more shelf stable. Or they’re added because they’re cheaper, easier to source, and more convenient for the producer.
For a lot of people using cream of potato/mushroom/onion/whatever in a recipe is something that they have a difficult time giving up. Just adding milk to the recipe doesn’t really seem to work out too well as it’s too much liquid. So they make a lot of changes but hold on to their creamy condensed soup-in-a-can.
I’m not only talking about Campbell’s here. All of the canned soup companies use these types of ingredients in them. This just happens to be the one that I’m talking about for the purposes of this article. Remember, if you’re going to buy canned soups you must read the label and avoid negative ingredients.
Luckily you don’t need to rely on the can. But let’s start by looking at what’s in that can and then I’ll share my favorite cream of whatever soup mix recipe.
- Funny enough even though it’s condensed soup the first ingredient is still water. That means you’re paying a lot for all of these ingredients but mostly water
- The vegetable oils include corn, canola, and soy, three of the most genetically modified foods on the face of the planet. GMO foods are not a great choice for health, you can read a brief blurb about it here
- Modified food starch is often made with corn (making is a GMO) and can be more difficult for your digestive tract to process
- Monosodium glutamate can cause a wide range of health issues. In this particular can it’s there as monosodium glutamate, but may also be present as part of the “yeast extract”
- Soy protein concentrate is obviously made from soy and is therefore a probable GMO ingredient. Extracted from defatted soy flour there may be a concern about pesticide accumulation during the concentration process as GMO crops tend to be heavily sprayed with glyphosate
- Dehydrated cream is most likely to be from cows treated with rBGH, an artificial hormone linked to increased risk for diabetes, cancer, and several other heath issues. It’s also been shown that cows treated with rBGH have a higher risk for mastitis and infertility
- Flavoring is a very generic term and we don’t really know what it includes
Instead of reaching for the can, consider making your own cream of whatever soup mix. Because it’s a powder it is shelf stable for quite some time and you can make enough to always have on hand for your favorite recipes
- 2 cups powdered organic milk
- 3/4 cup organic cornstarch
- 1/4 cup organic bouillon powder or organic bone broth powder
- 2 tbsp dried onion flakes
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- To use simply mix 1/3 cup of dry mix with 1 1/4 cups of cold water in a saucepan
- Cook and stir until thickened
- If desired add 1/2 cup of additional items such as diced mushrooms
- Can also add directly to a casserole calling for cream of soup
- Store in an airtight glass jar
- Keeps well for 3-4 months
Enjoy using this and be sure to share your favorite recipes that call for cream of whatever soup mix below