I’m so much more of a fall and winter cook than summer. I seem to be at a loss for what to cook in the summer months. Perhaps it’s because I don’t garden (although I wish Matt would). Or because we don’t own a grill (although I have intentions of getting one someday). But come Fall, I am ready for hearty soups and all kinds of things made in the crockpot!
As for brothy soups, I often make it up as I go along. Sometimes I’ll peruse recipes for ingredient combination ideas, but generally my brothy soups involve kale as the green element, some sort of grain or bean, and whatever else I have on hand. I almost never make meat soups. A few days ago, I saw this recipe for Tomato Spinach Orzo soup and replaced kale for the spinach, left out the water, and topped with parmesan cheese. I am not sure orzo in a soup is my favorite way to eat that grain, but it was good–especially because I was nursing a cold. Jonah ate the orzo and broth parts.
In the crockpot right now I am trying out this new recipe for Chicken & Dumplings. I was mostly interested in this recipe because I thought Jonah might like it. This recipe calls for condensed Cream of Chicken soup. I no longer buy any condensed cream of whatever soups. They are high in sodium and contain soy protein. I make my own ‘cream of anything’ soup for recipes. I did not add chicken pieces since the soup is going into a chicken dish. I added one packet of this and hopefully that will do.
1 cup cold milk
2 Tbsp cornstarch
1 1/2 Tbsp butter
1 tsp chicken bouillon
1/2 tsp salt
dash of pepper
In a small saucepan, whisk milk and cornstarch till well blended.
Stir in butter, bouillon, salt, and pepper.
Heat to a boil, stirring frequently. Simmer on low for one minute more to thicken.
Use in recipes to replace one can of cream of anything soup.
CONDENSED CREAM OF MUSHROOM SOUP:
Stir in a drained 4 ounce can of mushroom pieces to the recipe above.
Use in recipes in place of one can of Cream of Mushroom Soup.
CONDENSED CREAM OF CHICKEN SOUP:
Stir in 1/2 cup cooked chicken pieces to the recipe above.
Use in recipes in place of one can of Cream of Chicken Soup.
CONDENSED CREAM OF CELERY SOUP
Stir in 1/2 cup sautéed chopped celery to the recipe above.
Use in recipes in place of one can of Cream of Celery Soup.