Decorating my plate one meal at a time

Soup

Instant “Cream of” soup.

I posted pictures of this on my facebook account when I finished up making this.  I had several responses asking for the recipes, and a couple of people shared the photo.  I hate digging back through my facebook posts to find something so I thought I would post this in a “pin-able” format.

Finished jars of "Cream of" soup.

Finished jars of “Cream of” soup.

Cream-o-Chicken

  • 2 cups dried milk
  • 1 1/2 cup corn starch
  • 1/2 cup chicken bouillon granules (powder)
  • 1/2 cup dried minced onion
  • 3 teaspoons thyme
  • 2 teaspoons basil
  • 2 teaspoons parsley
  • 1 teaspoon rosemary
  • 1 Tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper

Cream-o-Mushroom

  • 2 cups dried milk
  • 1 1/2 cup corn starch
  • 1/2 cup beef bouillon granules (powder)
  • 1/2 cup dried minced onion
  • 2 teaspoons thyme
  • 2 teaspoons basil
  • 3 teaspoons parsley
  • 1 Tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper

OPTIONAL: Chopped dried mushrooms (to taste- I use about a 1/3 cup or more per batch)  If you have a dehydrator, one 8 oz package of mushrooms will easily make two batches. Dry until crispy and then crush into smallish bits.

Stir all the ingredients with a whisk and put into an air-tight container.  One batch fits perfectly into a quart jar.  I use my FoodSaver attachment to seal the jars for extended storage.  One jar makes about 10-12 “cans” of soup, and takes up a LOT less room in your pantry.

To use: Mix 1/3 cup dry mix with 1 1/4 cup cold water and bring to a boil. Replaces 1 can condensed soup in recipes.

You can also make this with milk for a richer soup, or thin it with additional water/milk for gravy.

I adjusted the original recipe to my taste, you may find you need to do the same. The original had somewhat different measurements of the herbs, what I felt was too much pepper, and omitted garlic, which is a staple in our house. I also added the dried mushrooms because I felt that it was just “cream of beef” without them.

32 oz of button and baby bella mushrooms, washed, sliced, and going into the dehydrator.

32 oz of button and baby bella mushrooms, washed, sliced, and going into the dehydrator.

Dried mushrooms. Total volume reduced by about two thirds.  This was enough for 4 batches of cream of mushroom AND a quart jar of mushrooms "put up" for later use.

Dried mushrooms.
Total volume reduced by about two thirds. This was enough for 4 batches of cream of mushroom AND a quart jar of mushrooms “put up” for later use.


It’s good weather for soup!

Yet another Pinterest find….  sort of.

Vegetable soup with a sprinkle of shredded parmesan.

If you were inclined to Google “Zero point soup” or something like that, you would likely find quite a few recipes.  Most of them similar, but not quite the same.   I found one through Pinterest that I thought sounded good, so when Mom and I were planning meals, I brought it to the discussion table.  She, in turn, pulled out her version of the recipe.  Between the two of us, we created something pretty tasty.  For those of you playing along, this is no longer zero points.  Our version is 2 WWP+ per very generous cup.

Here are the details:

  • 1 large uncooked onions, chopped
  • 4 medium uncooked carrots, chopped
  • 4 ribs  uncooked celery, chopped
  • 4 cups uncooked Cabbage , chopped
  • 3 cups frozen green beans
  • 32 oz fat-free beef broth
  • 12 oz canned tomato paste
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 1/2 cups water

And the all too easy instructions:  Put it all in a pot.   Season to taste (we recommend celery salt).  Simmer 1 1/2 hours.

DONE!   Don’t forget to fish out the bay leaf before eating.   This could also probably be cooked in a crock pot if you wanted, I would recommend keeping it on low for a max of 4 hours.

It reheats beautifully- so we’ve been eating it for lunch or as a vegetable side-dish for supper all week.   Keep in mind that the veggie amounts in the recipe are estimated.  If you like more celery and onions, but not green beans, then adjust away.   The real star here is the beef broth and tomato paste base to the soup.  Its the right texture/consistency and it has great flavor- especially when seasoned with celery salt.  (Shhhhh- That’s Mom’s secret tomato soup ingredient- I spent all of my adult life not knowing why my soup from a can did not taste like hers, until I moved in with her last spring.)

This is especially great for using up those frozen green beans and that bag of baby carrots you never got around to finishing, but don’t cut out the cabbage.  There is something about the cabbage that seems to “fill out” the soup so that you get veggies in every bite and don’t end up drinking a cup of broth.

So what are you waiting for?  Give this one a shot, and come back and let me know how it turned out for you!

Veggie Soup