Saturday, March 26, 2011

Creamy Soup Base Review

I've been ogling the Creamy Soup Base over at Emergency Essentials for a while now, so I finally decided to give it a try.  I am sure glad I did!  It makes wonderful cream-of-broccoli soup.  I've also used it for making creamed peas and scalloped potatoes.  I haven't tried this yet, but I'll bet you could make good mac-and-cheese by melting some cheddar cheese in it and pouring it over macaroni.

The only real down side is that the ingredients aren't the most healthful:  1060mg of sodium and 11g of saturated fat per serving.  And a serving is only 1 cup, so I usually eat 2 servings at a time (a big bowl of cream-of-broccoli soup and a chunk of homemade bread is an awesome lunch!).  This is probably not something you'd want to eat every day.  On the other hand, fats are one of the most difficult food categories to store for more than just a few months, so this could be valuable in a well-rounded food-storage plan.

I make my soup a little healthier by adding a little white bean flour (from Bob's Red Mill) to the soup mix before adding it to the boiling water.  You can, of course, make a cream soup with just the white bean flour (the recipe is on the package),  but it's lumpy--the recipe on the package tells you to put it in the blender before serving it.  And the bean-flour soup doesn't have any seasonings in it (the chicken bouillon in this soup mix has some seasonings).  So I just add some bean flour to the creamy soup mix.  You have to be careful, though.  If you add too much it makes the soup lumpy.

But soup from this mix tastes good, is versatile, and is quick and easy to prepare.  I makeit when I'm too tired to cook a "real meal".

Here's how I make my cream-of-broccoli soup:

First, I measure out 1/2 cup soup mix, and put it into a 1-cup measuring cup.  Then I add a spoonful of white bean flour.  I start 2 cups of water to boil (do not add salt--there's plenty in the soup mix).  While the water is coming to a boil, I cut up some broccoli--about 3/4 cup.

When the water comes to a boil, I whisk in the soup mix, then turn down the heat, because this likes to boil and you want it to only simmer.

The soup is supposed to simmer for 10 minutes.  About half way through that time, I add the broccoli.  I've learned that you shouldn't wait too long to add the broccoli, or it will taste raw.  Of course, you don't want to put it in too early or it might get too mushy.  I use thawed-out frozen broccoli, so it's been blanched (before it was frozen), so it's partially cooked.  If you're using fresh broccoli from the garden, it might need to cook longer.

And that's it.  After simmering for 10 minutes it's done.  Easy, peasy, Cream of Broccoli soup.

Oh, there is one thing.  The recipe on the can says to "Whisk 1/4 cup Creamy Soup Base into..."  so I was picturing the kind of whisk that you'd use for whisking eggs while baking.  But a gravy whisk works better.

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