Remember the red and white can from your childhood? Heinz Cream of Chicken Soup. You’ve gotta try the homemade version. No preservatives. 10 minutes. Pantry ingredients. Smooth and creamy – not floury. The real deal. You’ll never have that red and white can in your pantry again.
I have such fond memories of Heinz Cream of Chicken Soup from my childhood. Being banned by my mother (any meals in cans were banned), it was a treat that I only got at friends’ houses. Hey – I was a kid! I always wanted what I couldn’t have.
As an adult I stay away from canned meals. It was on a particularly cold day I was passing by the canned soup aisle that I was reminded of my childhood addiction to Cream of Chicken Soup. As I’ve been on a bit of a mission lately to make homemade versions of popular takeout and store bought meals/sauces, I decided to put this on my list of things to make.
I tried a recipe I found online which was really simple, basically boil 1/2 cup of flour + 2 to 3 cups of liquid (chicken stock + milk) + some spices. Then it becomes thick and gluggy like the condensed soup you get in a can, then to use, you simply thin it with milk.
It was truly awful. It tasted like….well, flour. All I could taste was flour. I actually feel queasy at the memory.
I did my research and checked out a bunch of other recipes and they were all basically the same. I don’t understand……I’m not a fussy eater. I’ll eat pretty much anything – even offal (selectively though!). But the chicken soup was just horrid!
So I decided to make my own version. My version is made starting with a quick roux which is made simply with a small amount of butter plus flour. This is then cooked over low heat to cook out the flour so it will not taste floury. Then the roux is used as the thickening agent to make the condensed soup. Making it this way, your Cream of Chicken Soup will be super creamy and thick, everything you remember so fondly about the red and white can but made at home, preservative free and without an ounce of that “artificial” flavour you get from canned and instant soups.
I think some people think that making a roux is really tricky or takes ages – but it doesn’t! It only takes a few minutes and it’s super easy. The part that a lot of people seem to be worried about is when it’s ready to come off the stove. The easiest way to tell is when the roux becomes like the consistency of tomato sauce. You know when you squeeze out a dollop of tomato sauce it holds it’s shape for a couple of seconds then disappears into a puddle? That’s the same with roux. Make “ribbons” with the roux and if you can see that shape for a few seconds before it disappears then it’s ready – like in the photo below.
PS Sorry about the filthy photos. I was tempted not to include them because I literally snapped quick photos while I was cooking it and I didn’t bother cleaning the sides of the saucepan….but then I thought they would be useful so I decided to get over my embarrassment!
Using this homemade condensed soup is no different to the way you use a can of Heinz soup, you just add some milk to thin it to a soup consistency. I like to add some vegetables and diced chicken too – for some colour and…errm…so there is at least some nutrition in this! I’ll share a recipe for a soup using this Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup tomorrow.
10 minutes. Real ingredients. Super creamy. Preservative free. A great soup to have stashed away in the fridge for a quick midweek meal by bulking it up with plenty of vegetables!
- 3 tbsp / 50g / 1.5 oz butter
- ½ cup flour
- 1½ cups chicken broth
- ¾ cup milk
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp paprika
- ¼ tsp garlic powder
- ¼ tsp onion powder
- ¼ tsp freshly-ground black pepper
- ⅛ tsp. dried thyme (or sub with oregano or parsley)
- Melt butter in medium saucepan over medium heat.
- Add flour and stir until well combined - it will become a sand like consistency.
- Turn heat down to medium low and cook for 3 minutes. As you cook, you will notice it will start becoming "wet". You will be able to "hear" the wetness as your stir it.
- Remove from heat and pour in about ½ cup of chicken broth, then whisk briskly then once combined, pour in another ½ cup of chicken broth, whisk, then and return to the stove.
- Turn the stove up to medium high and add the remaining chicken broth, milk and spices, continuing to whisk so the bottom doesn't get thick and stick to the base of the pan.
- Once bubbles start to appear, cook for 2 minutes until it becomes quite thick, about the thickness of tomato sauce.
- Remove from heat immediately. As it cools it will thicken even more and become the consistency of condensed soup.
- Combine 2 cups of Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup with 2 cups of milk and heat on stove. Add vegetables and chicken if you wish.
2. This cannot be canned as it has dairy in it.