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Converting old recipes with canned cream of mushroom soup and dry onion soup mix

Going through my Mom's 50-something-year-old recipe box -- some of the recipes sound really interesting except for the canned and dried soup stuff. I've used a thickened version of sticksnscones mushroom with thyme gravy with success -- any other thoughts?

asked by wssmom over 6 years ago
8 answers 2895 views
23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added over 6 years ago

hum. Fine Cooking Magazine did a 'fresh' take on green bean casserole, I recall a cookbood author, Jeanne Jones, doin a DIY take on mushroom soup. This was a very long time ago. Google and you will find some of her suggestions.


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added over 6 years ago

For the cream of mushroom soup, you could always make a roux and flavor it with mushroom broth - a lot healthier and fresher tasting than the original! For the dried onion soup mix, you could always use onion powder or (depending on what the recipe is calling for) fresh caramelized onions. One of my friends is from the midwest (home of the cream of mushroom-inspired casserole) and she tends to use sour cream or creme fraiche + seasonings to replicate the cream of mushroom effect.

0dcfb05c 8a90 480f 8cf7 cbc33e9a6b5c  me
added over 6 years ago

Good thoughts! Thanks littleknitter and nutcakes! What seasonings does your friend use littleknitter to replicate the cream of mushroon effect?

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added over 6 years ago

I'm so glad you're deconstructing the family favorites. Not only will you be making the dishes taste fresher, you'll also be lowering the sodium content of the recipes and you'll live longer.

I am such a snot about this. The only stuff I find appealing about Campbell's Soup are the pictures painted by Andy Warhol. I was frightened by my mom's tuna casserole as a child in the early 50s, and I've never gotten over my fear of Campbell's. I swore up and down that when I had kids of my own, I would never torture them with canned cream of anything.

The absolute worst is boxed stuffing mix topped with a canned vegetable of some sort and chicken parts smothered in an undiluted "cream" soup which is then sprinkled with a packet of dry onion soup, covered in foil and steam-baked. Shortly before serving, the foil is removed and the casserole is topped with cracker crumbs and drizzled with margarine and is baked for a few more minutes. A daughter-in-law's aunt served this and told us that if you put slices of fresh zucchini in it, "it tastes even more gourmet."

I think you need to analyze the contents of your treasure box on a recipe-by-recipe basis. I can see instances when a veloute (roux with stock) or a bechamel (roux with dairy) would work, and both are fairly quick, tasty and easy substitutions for a can of undiluted soup. I can see other instances when a cheese sauce would work, too.

As far as dried soup mixes are concerned, there are a lot of copycat recipes floating around, most involving dried onion flakes and granulated bouillon. If you're going to go there, you might as well just purchase a box of the original stuff--I see no reason to imitate an imitation.

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pierino is a trusted source on General Cooking and Tough Love.

added over 6 years ago

Like BetterIrene I grew up with Mom's Tuna Noodle Casserole, which probably came off the back of a soup can or out of a Better Homes and Garden cookbook. I actually still like it and have made it for family occasions during my parents' declining years, but I tart it up a bit too, using imported Spanish bonito del norte and so on. Add some English peas maybe. Sometimes I'll substitute a panko crust for the potato chips, but the potato chips are pretty damn good.

0dcfb05c 8a90 480f 8cf7 cbc33e9a6b5c  me
added over 6 years ago

Thank you, betteirene! I am sorting out the favorites and will tackle them on an individual basis. And pierino, I've never tried fancy tuna, but will have to do so one day (I like the chips, too ....)

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added over 6 years ago

For the past year or so I have made gluten-free cream of mushroom soup as part of a gluten-free Green Bean Casserole for friends at Thanksgiving and Christmas. I like this recipe so much that I use it now for all recipes that need cream of mushroom soup. You can use regular flour instead of the sweet rice flour.

Gluten-Free Cream of Mushroom Soup

Olive oil for sauteing

1 lb. button mushrooms (or you can use fancier ones), sliced.

6 Tablespoons butter

2 cups chicken/vegetable broth

2 cups whole milk

6 Tablespoons flour (sweet rice flour preferably, but brown rice flour works ok too)

1 tsp Coleman’s dry mustard

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper for a little kick (use less if you don't want so much spice)

Salt to taste (I used a tsp)

Freshly ground black pepper

Dash of garlic powder

First, saute your mushrooms in olive oil and set aside.
Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat, once it starts to bubble, add the flour to make a roux. Add the spices. Once the roux has cooked/bubbled for a few minutes, add the milk and broth. Whisk until the sauce thickens. Once the sauce has thickened, add back in the sauteed mushrooms. Cook for several minutes until heated through. Use as you would in any other cream of mushroom soup recipe (reconstituted).

0dcfb05c 8a90 480f 8cf7 cbc33e9a6b5c  me
added over 6 years ago

Cookonthefly, thanks!I am always on the lookout for GF recipe, this soujnds great. I am having wonderful success with Gluten-Free Pantry (Glutino) All-Purpose Flour, will try it combined with some fresh mushrooms!

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