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Homemade Cream-Of Soup Mix

Homemade Cream-Of Soup Mix

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Let’s be honest…there are times when I’m just lazy. I might run out of Homemade Cream of Chicken Soup and be too busy to make more…or too lazy. I try to always keep some in the freezer, but sometimes I run out. I know it’s quick and easy to whip up a batch, but I’ll be honest again. If I see a recipe that calls for it and I know I have to make some because I’m out – I pretty much nix that recipe. Can I get a witness?!

While I just love cooking, and don’t mind making the homemade cream of soup, sometimes I just can’t get around to it…and for those times, there is this lovely stand-in made with dried ingredients. Having this in the cabinet makes me feel like I can conquer any cream-of recipe! It also makes me feel like I need a casserole – casseroles are where it’s at.

Cream of Mushroom/Celery/Chicken Base -- much healthier version of canned. It's gluten-free AND can also be made dairy free.

Organic milk and cornstarch

Okay, so this recipe uses powdered milk and cornstarch. I know there are really strict hard-core foodies out there who would scream and cry and foam at the mouth because I’m using dried milk…but as we all know, I’m not a strict hard-core foodie.

Yes, I understand that dried milk might not be a “whole food.” But let’s just get something out of the way here – to me, using this mix that I made is 100 times better than using a can of cream-of soup from the store. I know what’s in this…because I made it. The ingredients on the dried milk say: organic skim milk. While I am a firm believer in whole milk, I don’t mind using skim dried milk.

*Note – Dairy Free? Use Rice Milk Powder.*

I do realize that using high quality ingredients is better – so, I went with a non-instant version of dried milk and I opted for the organic. Also, because GMO corn gives me the freak out, I also opted for organic cornstarch. Could you use arrowroot? Probably…but I wanted to use cornstarch. Why? Who knows…just go with it. I easily found these ingredients at Vitacost.

Cream of Mushroom/Celery/Chicken Base -- much healthier version of canned. It's gluten-free AND can also be made dairy free.

Stir it up, buttercup

This really is super easy. Put all the dry ingredients in a bowl and whisk. Store in an airtight container in the pantry. The only thing you could mess up here is to create a huge cloud of dry milk while mixing too hard. But really…who would do that? *Cough*

Now, here is the tricky part – you have to make it into a soup. For cream-of chicken soup, you’ll mix your powder with chicken broth. For cream-of mushroom soup, you’ll use water and some diced, cooked mushrooms…and for cream-of celery soup, you’ll mix it with water and add some celery seed or diced, cooked celery.  I’ll provide instructions below in the recipe.

Cream of Mushroom/Celery/Chicken Base -- much healthier version of canned. It's gluten-free AND can also be made dairy free.

Cream-Of Soup Base

Casserole dishes all across America are happy again! They’re going to be pulled out of their dusty cabinet homes and be used for Chicken Spaghetti. It’s a miracle.

This recipe is brought to you by the Stacy Is Freaked Out By GMO Corn Coalition. We accept casserole donations.

Cream of Mushroom/Celery/Chicken Base -- much healthier version of canned. It's gluten-free AND can also be made dairy free.

Comment Policy: I love hearing your thoughts and input on what I write. Since I write about what works at my house, what pleases my handsome hubby and darling children; I'm sure we'll disagree sometimes. In those cases, do what's right for you and yours. As with any form of communication, please only post comments that move the discussion in a positive direction.

About Stacy

Stacy is the author of Crock On: A Semi-Whole Foods Slow Cooker Cookbook and Keep Crockin': A Poorganic Slow Cooker Cookbook, and a stay-at-home and homeschooling mom to her three children, Annie (June 2009), Andy (August 2012) and Eli (September 2014). After an “awakening” in March 2011, her family switched to a more natural, whole foods diet. She likes to blog about how to live on less than you make and how to eat good food while doing it. Her passion is teaching others how to save money and she tag teams with her husband in this endeavor. At Stacy Makes Cents you’ll find information on how to save money in the kitchen, how to have fun with your kids, and how to be thrifty in all areas of life. Her passion is teaching others how to live debt free. Make sure to follow her on Facebook, Youtube, Pinterest and more to keep up with her daily antics.


  1. This is an awesome idea.

  2. Michaeleen says:

    You got it girl, excellent points, and a little convience can go a long way in getting a great & healthy dinner on the table fast(er) some days…as a self-professed MAJOR foodie, I approve of this post! Keep up your great work, Stacy.

  3. OK, I haven’t made a casserole calling for cream-of… soup in about 3 years mainly because the canned stuff is really scary. Your recipe sounds awesome. Does it matter if this is not condensed?

    • Sometimes recipes that call for condensed soup also call for liquids, so you just won’t need as much….I just play around with it until I get it the right consistency.

  4. AWESOME! This is just what I needed. I too have skipped making recipes because I didn’t have the homemade in the freezer and the can kind is one of 3 things I refuse to buy (or eat unless its my only option). Thanks again for keeping it real (and helping keep my sanity in check! )

  5. I had no idea it was this easy! I’ll be whipping up a batch after I survive the holidays!!

    (And Stacy, as a girl who grew up in Nebraska surrounded by real corn, I say GMO Corn should freak EVERYONE out.)

  6. Cynthia Combest says:

    Another great idea!!!! Thank you!

  7. Thanks, Stacy – another great idea.

    What makes a dry milk be a “non-instant” milk? I’ve not heard of a powdered milk that is mixed with water being referred to as “non-instant” before.
    (Like, does the milk powder sit in the bottom and refuse to mix with the water until they’ve had time to establish a relationship and get to know each other a bit??)

  8. Just a quick note about substituting other things for the cornstarch…I have used this recipe for years and recently
    tweaked it to try to avoid the cornstarch – FAIL!!!! I tried zanthan gum and arrowroot (separately) and it turned out very gummy and unusable. Just thought I’d pass on that the cornstarch really does seem to be the best. And yes, I use organic cornstarch, too. :) Good post, Stacy.

    • That’s a bummer. I’ve always had good luck with arrowroot. Well, shoot a monkey.

      • I was interested in trying arrowroot. Would the amounts be the same? It seems I read that you use less arrowroot than cornstarch in recipes. ? And do you know if it holds
        up to freezing and cooking in casseroles etc.? Thanks so much for your help.

  9. Another recent experiment was more of a success…I was out of the mix, so heated up chicken broth, brought it to a boil, then added milk mixed with cornstarch. It was delicious and worked great in my recipe. I haven’t tried your recipe for cream soup, but maybe it is similar?

  10. Hi Stacy! Thank you so much for posting this recipe! I will use the ingredients I have on hand, instant dry milk powder and arrowroot. I hope it works just as good! Blessings from Bama!

  11. All I can say is Thank you, thank you, thank you, Oh, and thank you.

  12. Awesome! I’m searching for a dairy free alternative to the milk!? I’d appreciate any insight! And, I too shiver at GMO corn anything :S scary stuff….

  13. Thanks for the info and heres one in return. I adore cream of mushroom soup, so I dehydrate mushrooms and store them in the freezer. Then, just melt some butter, add dehydrated shrooms and whatever herbs you want, saute (or microwave)until you smell wonderful shroomy goodness. Add that to your quick method and everyone will think it took you all day! (also excellent for green bean casserole!) Careful, dehyderated mushrooms tend to have a more concentrated flavor!

    • Great tip, thanks! :-) I got freaked out my mushrooms when I was pregnant with Andy, so I haven’t really had them since then.

    • Countryside Quilter says:

      You mentioned wishing you could use dried whole milk. Got a hint for you, use milk for the liquid (instead of water broth etc). My Home Ec teacher (long time ago) told us to get more nutritious food into our children, use milk instead of water when we could. Make things richer tasting.

  14. This…is…genius! Now, if I could just find some dairy-free milk powder!

  15. We use this often but I’ve always hated to admit it since it’s not really “real” food. Thanks for making me feel a bit better by admitting you sometimes use it too. :) It does taste so much better than the canned stuff and is so easy for anyone to whip up. I always use it in place of a can of cream of whatever in recipes without making any adjustments and it always turns out fine.

    • That’s what I do too. :-) I usually don’t have time to fiddle with sauteing veggies to throw in it. And comfort yourself with the fact that this is a lot better than cream-of-whoknowswhat. 😉

  16. GMO corn freaks us out too, but with my husband being GF, we don’t know where to get, nor can we afford, organic substitutes of all the corn products we buy- we eat a lot of mexican because we live in texas, and because it’s easy to do GF, so we use a lot of corn tortillas, tortilla chips, and the like. I know it’s something we need to change, but we do love our mexican night :( Tips?

  17. I used to make this all the time.

  18. Yes, seriously GMO corn is c-r-a-z-y, I don’t care who calls it “safe” (I could call myself a monkey but you’d be one to believe me!) if it splits bugs stomachs open when they eat it I’m not touching it! Phew. Glad to know we have yet one more thing in common Stacy. I really wouldn’t be surprised if we were related.
    This Cream ‘O Soup is a great idea!! Can’t wait to try it… For those wanting to try dairy free versions of “cream of” soup, why not try adding coconut cream and then thickening with a veggie or chicken broth/corn starch mixture? Just make sure that corn starch is organic- this has been a public service announcement by the SADAFOBGCC (StacyandDianaAreFreakedOutByGMOCornCoalition) 😉

  19. I am trying this today! Has anyone used instant dried milk? I have looked several places and its all I could ever find.

  20. your resipe card does not tel people to sub water for chicken broth when making the other soups///may be a nobrainer but some of us need all the help we can get, Also what is the difference brtween non instant and instant? arnt they prepaired the same?
    Thanks Kevin

    • Hi Kevin!
      I’m a bit confused by your comment because when I look at the recipe card, at the bottom I see instructions to make Cream of Chicken, Cream of Mushroom, and Cream of Celery. It’s under the instructions.
      Instant and non-instant are made differently and behave different in cooking. Either would work for this recipe. I just prefer non-instant. Here is a great explanation of the differences – non-instant does better with hot liquids. :-)

  21. I LOVE this! I just made this for the second time. Both times I have ended up with a thick layer of burnt schutff (milk??) on the bottom of my pan. Have you had that experience? I’m sure it’s 100% user error, but am just wondering if I need to be constantly stirring it before the boil??

    Both times I was distracted with other parts of the recipe and let it come to a boil while I wasn’t paying attnention so I’m thiking that might be the problem. Both times I was able to use the rest of the mix so it wasn’t a big deal, but was just wondering if I’m the only one who has had that problem

    • I have that same problem when I get distracted and forget to stir regularly. Milk is really weird when it’s heated. :-) So, no worries….Stacy probably does it more than you. lol

  22. I am so happy to have discovered your blog! Making this today…thank you!

  23. I have to avoid gluten and dairy too – wondering – Could you just leave out the dried milk entirely and substitute a non-dairy milk for some of the liquid when reconstituting? I dunno, I use thickened broth w/out dairy all the time – I’m totally trying it. :-) Thanks for the recipe with seasonings – that’s always my great mystery!!

  24. Believe it or not…I am going to try to make this dairy free! Thanks! I think I have a good idea…..

  25. Can’t wait to try this!

    Related question (sorta)…..what’s your stance on Jello as far as whole foods goes? Is there a way to make it without all the sugar & artificial colors or is this just another item to add to my ‘Permanently Given Up for Lent’ List?

    Thanks & God bless!!! :)

    • We don’t eat Jello – for me it’s because I just hate it. LOL For Annie it’s because we avoid food coloring in our home. But you can easily make homemade jello using unflavored gelatin. :-)

  26. Stephanie Allen says:

    I just found your blog. I Love this. I’ll be trying this soon!! Thank you! Just a little FYI…just because its an organic corn product does NOT mean its non-GMO! It has to say non-GMO! I found this out about a year ago, just in case you didn’t know. thanks again, Stephanie

  27. Stacy I was wondering what the GMO stands for?I’ve never used organic cornstarch but if the GMO is really bad i definatly wanna be switching!!!

  28. I love this recipe and can’t wait to try it. Quick question what kind of lid is that on your jar? Thanks

  29. About the instant/non-instant milk. I’ve been told by those whom use a lot of powdered milk that if you put instant milk powder in a blender and blend it until it’s more finely “powdered” than it is, you can then use the same measurements as the non-instant milk. It seems that the larger “chunks” of powder cause a difference in the amount you’re using – which is logical as the more finely powdered non-instant is more compact than the larger instant milk powder.

  30. And I almost forgot. For those that want/need dairy-free/corn-free, use raw, ground white beans. I swear, you cannot tell that beans were used in it! I run my beans through my wheat grinder, but I’ve also used a coffee mill (one that HASN’T been used for coffee or strong spices!), to grind the raw beans and then, once it’s been cooked, pureed the soup in the blender or with a stick blender to make sure it’s smooth. And it only takes about 5 minutes to make it with the ground beans. In fact, you won’t need anything but raw, ground white beans and either chicken (or whatever flavoring you want)bouillon or broth to make it. So no corn products in it either.

  31. I love this idea! generally when a recipe calls for cream of….soup I make a white sauce and add whatever flavour is needed. I made this mix a couple of weeks ago and just used it to make my version of Costco’s Chicken Bake. I made the cream of soup, added a package of reduced fat cream cheese, about 1/2 a rotisserie chicken, and about 2 cups of frozen veggies. I rolled out homemade bread dough and put some of this mixture in it and voila…healthier Chicken Bake for my family of four :)

    • I was trying to read your comment and all I could read was “cream cheese.” Yes…blessed cream cheese. How I love thee. *Slobber*

  32. Hey Stacy,

    Have you ever tried this recipe to make cream of cheddar soup? I’m guessing that either 1 cup of cheddar or a mixture of cream cheese and cheddar should do it. I’m dying for homemade Mac and cheese over here and my mothers recipe of course calls for cream of cheddar >_<

  33. Ooh – what a useful thing to have! Thanks for the recipe. I’ve pinned it for future reference.

  34. Would these recipes work if it they were prepared and added to freezer meals? I am stocking up the freezer and trying to make healthier versions for after our fourth baby is born soon. Thank you!

  35. Marian Rector says:

    Out of cornstarch!!! Can I use flour??

  36. Thanks for this post. Just mixed it up. Oh, regarding your jar and lid….. years ago TANG came in those containers.

  37. Melanie Robinson says:

    You are hilarious and I am too freaked out by the GMO that is EVERYWHERE!!
    Also, that jar, with the red lid, is that old? I mean, that was like a flash back to my childhood. My Granny had those in her kitchen. :) I LOVE antiques!

  38. I love cream of broccoli soup and have been buying Bear Creek brand. it is great but I just started really looking at all the unnecessary ingredients and was very disappointed. I just found your site and this recipe mix for any type of creamed soup. thanks!!!

  39. How many cups does this whole thing make? Would you say about 3 cups?

  40. Stacy, I am “newer” to your blog & already loving it! You always make me smile! I am so happy to see I am not the only one who belongs to the “Freaked out by GMO corn coalition!! :)

  41. As of Dec 22, 2014: I was searching on A…zon for organic dry milk. The product you show in your photo has been discontined (found on their web site) as of November 2014. The ones on A…zon are SKY HIGH. It would make a gallon of milk almost $20. I love my creamy soups but this is ridiculous. Even Now Foods products are sky high for nothing. Regular dry milk (non-organic) might be the only choice and I’ll have to live with it because it will be better than the canned variety. ugh

  42. How long do the dry ingredients stay fresh after making a batch? I’m new to making things like this and I want to be sure I don’t make too much and let it go bad. THANKS!!

  43. Lynne Burton says:

    What about dehydrating mushrooms and then grinding them down and add to powdered mix? And the same with celery? I have a cream of chicken already mixed with chicken bullion. Just wondering if it has ever been done.

  44. Ginger Smith says:

    My friend mentioned for me to use powdered creamer instead of the powdered milk… What’s your opinion?

  45. Nancy Allgood says:

    I would use my freeze dried mushrooms or freeze dried celery to make the variations.

  46. Shawna Price says:

    I am totally afraid to ask this question because I use CREAM OF soups ALL the time…but here goes….why are they so scary? Do I really want to know? Especially since I am at work right now and the crock pot is on at home with cream of chicken, cream of celery, chicken broth, carrots and chicken breasts cooking away…and I am really looking forward to supper!! :S

    • They just have a lot of additives that aren’t necessary when you can make your own without all those. :-) And it’s easy!

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