DIY Food: Cream of Anything Soup Mix

As I’m working towards more real foods and fewer processed foods (don’t miss the “working towards”) one of my biggest struggles has been the need to find a substitute for the good old standby “cream of ________________.” You can insert chicken/mushroom/celery, etc. We used to use these all the time in casseroles and slow cooker dishes. I used to have a years supply of Cream of Chicken and Cream of Mushroom soups. Then we (read ME) started moving towards a more mindful approach to things like food.

Have you ever read one of these soup labels? Checked out the ingredients? Seriously, the labels are SCARY! Things like MSG (monosodium glutimate), autolyzed yeast extract, disodium phosphate, etc. I don’t want to be feeding my kids that stuff!

So I went digging. I remember in high school I had copied down a recipe that my mom had for a cream of soup substitute….and I dug and dug…and I found it! Written in my 17 year old handwriting was this little nugget.


I have modified it just the smidgiest bit, and created a mix to keep in my pantry to throw together when I need a can of condensed soup. And seriously…throw together is no lie. It is faster than superman and able to leap tall buildings in a single bound….really!

When you use it, you can add in different additional herbs based on what you’re making to make your creation seriously gourmet.

The process goes like this:


Gather up your ingredients….a little non fat milk powder, chopped dried onion, bouillon, pepper, basil, thyme, cornstarch….



Dump it all in a big bowl, mix it together and store it in an airtight container.



To make some, mix 1/3 cup mix withย  1 1/4 cup cold water and heat…..



…..Til nice and thick and bubbly….it smells so good and tastes even better! Use it in all of your old recipes that call for condensed soup….you will not be disappointed with the flavor, lack of chemicals, or reduced fat! I promise! And….AND…it really doesn’t take much longer than finding the can opener so you can open that old can of condensed soup…seriously.



I must admit to being nothing like those ladies that have cute pantries and labels and all of that…..the idea is really cute, but I’m pretty much so busy keeping my family fed and alive that the pretty extras aren’t really high on my priority list….but I know you guys’ll forgive me, cause you’re cool like that!

DIY Food: Cream of Anything Soup Mix

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 7 minutes

Total Time: 17 minutes

DIY Food: Cream of Anything Soup Mix



  1. Mix together in a large bowl.
  2. Pour into lidded container
  3. For the equivalent of one can of condensed cream soup, mix 1/3 cup mix with 1 1/4 cold water.
  4. Cook until thickened.
  5. Add additional ingredients as desired. For cream of mushroom, add 1/4 cup chopped fresh, canned or freeze dried mushrooms. For cream of celery, add 1/4 cup of freeze dried celery.
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One of my favorite variations is to saute some onion, grated carrot, and chopped cauliflower til tender. Add to the soup with some cooked cubed chicken, some milk and some broth….then add……wait for it…..curry powder! Curry and cauliflower are a match made in HEAVEN! I’ll be posting that recipe soon, and be watching on Wednesday for a slow cooker recipe that I’ve been eating since I was a kid (a recipe of my mom’s) that I recently used the cream of soup mix instead of condensed soup in….it turned out fabulous!


The Shelf Reliance giveaway ends today at midnight, so get your entries in if you haven’t already!! Winner will be announced on Wednesday!

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  1. can you omit the bouillon and use chicken broth instead of water when you make the soup?

    • Absolutely! Just remember you want the stock (or water) to be cold so that when you mix them together the cornstarch doesn’t clump and it mixes smooth.

  2. Rosetta says:

    Just ran across this post via Pinterest. My recipes is almost exactly the same (came from my mom ๐Ÿ˜€), but I just dump all the ingredients in the jar I store it in , put the lid on tight, and shake it around till it’s mixed. I’m ALL about saving dishes ๐Ÿ˜‰

  3. I love the idea of this mix recipie; however, I hope that you realized that the chicken flavor bouillon cubes have a high amount of MSG.

    • Hi Paige! Thanks so much for taking the time to post a comment ๐Ÿ™‚
      The photos on this post are older than the hills and one of these days I will get around to replacing them. You are absolutely correct that most chicken bouillon is high in not only MSG but sodium, so I no longer use them. I use the Thrive Chicken or Beef Bouillon, OR I make my own using really fabulous good for you ingredients. You can find the recipe/post for my DIY Bouillon HERE.

      Thanks again for taking the time to comment and I hope to hear from you again ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Thanks so much for sharing your DIY bouillon recipe. MSG triggers my husband’s migraines so I have to watch what I cook with. I have been having a hard time finding bouillon with no MSG so I could make DIY cream soup. Thanks again!

      • Can you omit the bouillon and use chicken stock instead of water?

  4. I love your blog and ideas, and tips!!! I just really wish you also had a printable version listed too ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Some of the older recipes haven’t been updated yet to include a printable version (and I’m still trying to figure out the settings on the new recipe plugin I’ve installed), but your wish is my command and there is now a printable version of the Cream of Soup Mix ๐Ÿ™‚

      Thanks for taking the time to post!!

  5. Jennifer Ferrell says:

    Can’t you add dried veggies or mushrooms to the mix and then store it in an airtight container?

    • Absolutely! I just don’t add them until I use it, because I prefer to have the universal sauce in a big batch, and then add mushrooms, or celery, or chicken when I know what I’m using it in. Definitely, if you generally only use cream of mushroom, then add mushrooms (I just chop up Thrive Freeze Dried Mushrooms, or pulse them in a blender a couple of times), or any other veggie or meat you like.

      Thanks for taking the time to comment!!

  6. Hi,
    I was hoping to use this but i was curious, what do you do for cream of mushroom, or cream of celery if you do not have the Thrive items you speak of? I am hesitant to purchase such large quantities because i donโ€™t often use cream of anything. Thanks

    • Hi Kate, thanks for your question.
      You either have the option of buying in smaller quantities (the smaller sized Pantry Can option is listed on the right hand side for Celery or Mushrooms )
      simply saute until tender 1/2 to 1 cup chopped fresh celery or mushrooms and add to the mix. This is totally do-able, although it may defeat the purpose of “quick and easy.”

      I hope that helps, and thanks again for taking the time to write!

  7. Maria Dohnal says:

    My hubby HATES minced onions…Do you know how much onion powder could be used in it’s place?

    • Hi Maria ๐Ÿ™‚
      As a general rule of thumb, one TEASPOON onion powder to replace one TABLESPOON dried minced onions. So for the recipe, you’d need a little less than 3 tablespoons onion powder. You can also try Freeze Dried Onions which are (AMAZING) so much better than dried minced.
      Thanks for taking the time to comment and let me know how it goes!

  8. Katrina Drieman says:

    So I made your soup mix recipe! Smelled sooooooo wonderful! I couldn’t wait to cook a batch up! Finally yesterday I attempted some chicken pot pie which called for cream of chicken soup. So I had my reason to make a batch. I tasted great!! However, it never did get thick when I heated it on the stove. Any suggestions? I love the taste and really want to make it work! Thanks

    • Thanks for the comment, Katrina!
      Did you let the mixture come to a simmer and continue the simmer until it thickened? What kind of cornstarch did you use?
      I haven’t ever had trouble with mine not thickening up….let’s see…..did you shake your mixture before you measured it out? Sometimes ingredients will settle and cause a problem….let me know if any of those solved the problem. If not, we’ll keep brainstorming!

  9. I’ve been looking for something like this! Sounds great for recipe add-in. Is this good as a stand alone soup recipe? What if I wanted cream of celery or creamy potato soup, would this work? Thank you!

    • It absolutely would work, Rachel, and the Thrive Celery, or Thrive Diced Potatoes would be fantastic in it!

  10. Love this but need some extra instructions… so when you add additional ingredients, I assume you mean celery for cream of celery soup, mushrooms for cream of mushroom soup, etc. But how much of these? And is that all to differentiate them? Thanks!

    • Thanks for the question, Joy! Honestly, I’m a handful here and a pinch there kind of cook, but I’ll try to answer your question the best I can….the great thing, though is that it’s mostly a “to taste” kinda thing. I usually add between 1/4 and 1/2 cup of whatever “special” ingredient…chicken, celery, etc per 1/3 cup mix and 1 1/4 cup water (which is the equivalent of one can of commercial soup). When I’m using Thrive, I’ll throw in a tablespoon of the Freeze Dried Onions, too. And with the Thrive Chopped Chicken, sometimes a 1/2 cup of the Freeze Dried Broccoli….really, the possibilities are endless! You can also mix the mix up without any bouillon and add it in when you add it to the water, to customize your flavors.

      I hope this answered your question! If not, you know where to find me ๐Ÿ™‚
      Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to post!

  11. NolaCherie says:

    So, how ’bout that curry & cauliflower & cream if anything soup recipe you promised us back in Feb. ;-). Did I just miss it??

    • NolaCherie,
      Thanks for keeping me on task ๐Ÿ™‚
      I’m just getting ready to hit “POST” on my Cauliflower & Cream of Anything Soup Recipe….better late than never, and NOW is the perfect time to give it a try!
      Hugs ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. Knorr has MSG in it. Sorry?!

  13. So, what if we have a corn Intolerance?
    Do you have a substitution for the cornstarch?

    • Hi Kathy!
      All purpose flour, rice flour, potato flour and arrowroot flour are all possible substitutions for the cornstarch. Probably the most recommended (from what I’ve heard, cause I haven’t tried it yet, although it is on my list) is the arrowroot flour. You can buy it at the health food store, and at some big (Walmart) stores as well.
      Let me know how it works for you!!

  14. I am so glad you told me about this. I can’t wait to try it!

  15. I LOVE this. I have been making my own from “wet” ingredients but I love this idea of a “mix” far more. Plus it’s “non-fat” and I love that idea a LOT MORE than mine with butter. Thanks Jenn.

    • I know…the non-fat is a big deal to me right now….and I don’t even miss it! I have on occasion mixed in one ounce of low fat cream cheese if it’s something I want to have a really creamy and “decadent” flavor/feel.
      And I figure as many things as I can do to bring convenience into my life, while still fitting the requirements (cost effective, rotating storage, control of ingredients), the happier I am, and mixes are perfect!
      Have fun and let me know what you use it in!

  16. For those of us who are container challenged, what size container would work best? ๐Ÿ™‚

    • My jar in the picture is about 2 quarts, so it makes about a quart of mix…and you might be able to squeeze it into a quart jar, but it wouldn’t be very easy to remove from the jar to use, without making a mess, so something bigger than a quart jar would work best.
      I got this one at Walmart, just FYI.

  17. Yummy!! Thanks for sharing :o)

  18. Melanie H. says:

    And wheat free for me! I will call you blessed forever this has been my biggest challenge with adapting recipes… cream of @#$%&7!


  1. […] ย bit to tinker with the recipe the way I wanted it. ย You will have to do that, too. ย I’mย linkingย the version I ended up using but hit google and there are mutliple versions of the same recipe. […]

  2. […] be shocked at how easy it is to adapt a recipe that calls for “cream of _____” to a homemade version! We bake our own cookies, cakes, pies, etc. We don’t eat frozen meals or most convenience […]

  3. […] might recall that I promised you a recipe to try out the Cream of Anything Soup mix that I posted on Monday. Here it is….my mom has been making this for as long as I can […]

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