Ready or Not #117: Cream Soup Base Mix

I like soup a lot. It is filling, it feels good as it warms your stomach up, and it is also a comfort food, especially when you are sick.  All of the items below are food storage friendly items, especially the water (2 gallons, per person, per day, for a two-week period).  Sooo, I’m thinking that it would be a good thing to start looking for the following ingredients on sale. Or even better yet, grow and dry the items that you can — like the onions, garlic, basil and thyme — and then buy and store the rest.

Cream Soup Base Mix
Mix together the following ingredients:

½ cup nonfat dry milk
2 tablespoons cornstarch (stir in with the dry milk before hand so that the cornstarch won’t go lumpy)
2 teaspoons chicken bouillon (or low sodium chicken bouillon)
¼ teaspoon onion powder
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon basil
¼ teaspoon thyme
¼ teaspoon white pepper (and of course I use black because that is what I have)
9 oz. (1 cup + 2 tablespoons) cold water, give or take

Heat to a boil and stir frequently.  Unless you are a single person making a single serving, I think that I would double, triple or quadruple the recipe to make it worth your while.  Also, the trick to a good cream soup base is the dry milk that you use.  If the powdered milk tastes bad to drink, it won’t taste any better in the soup.  I really like the Country Cream brand.  Powdered milk should taste like a good quality skim milk (yes, there is such a thing – my son doesn’t agree, but there is).

If you want to have:

Cream of Mushroom – add ½ cup mushrooms (fresh is yummiest, but canned is more than acceptable)
Cream of Celery add – ¼ cup chopped celery OR celery seed or celery salt to taste
Cream of Chicken add – ½ cup diced or shredded chicken (canned works really well)
Cream of Broccoli add – ½ chopped up broccoli (fresh, frozen or pre-cooked leftovers)
…and etc.

Let your imagination run wild.  Rice would taste really good in it, and then possibly pour it over toast.  Again, I’m thinking comfort food.

The favorite soups in my family are the Cream of Mushroom, Cream of Chicken and Minestrone.  This is one of the Minestrone soups that I make.

1 can (16oz.) kidney beans, drained
1 clove of garlic OR ¼ teaspoon dried granulated garlic
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil (you can use any vegetable oil, but olive oil is tastier and healthier)
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley OR about 2 tablespoons dried parsley
1 small, unpeeled zucchini, diced (fresh or frozen)
2 ribs celery with leaves, finely chopped OR in a pinch add celery seeds or celery salt to taste
2 small carrots, peeled and diced (you can used canned – not as desirable, or frozen – better choice)
1 small onion OR 1 teaspoon dried onion flakes
1 can (14 ½oz.) diced tomatoes OR 1 quart home bottled stewed tomatoes (my preference)
3 tablespoons butter or margarine
2 ½ cups water
1/3 cup uncooked elbow macaroni (or any squiggly type pasta you might have in your food storage)
½ cup beef bouillon or tomato juice
Salt to taste – you have already added salt, possibly in a couple different places, so don’t over do it.

Mash the beans, just a little bit, in the bottom of a large soup pan.  Stir in garlic, salt, pepper, oil and parsley.  Then add the zucchini, celery, carrots (add now if you are using fresh, add at the end if they are canned or frozen), onion, tomatoes, butter or margarine and water.

Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally.  Reduce heat and cover.  Simmer about an hour (I never wait that long).  Add macaroni and the beef bouillon or tomato juice.  Continue simmering until macaroni is tender.  Serve hot – maybe you could even serve it with the 5-Minute Bread you made last week.

By the way, did you notice that everything in that recipe is food storage friendly also? Too easy.