Are you contemplating making the famous Campbell's soup recipe for green bean cassarole for this Thanksgiving? Are you horrified by the actual "ingredients" in a can of processed soup? Do you mutter under your breath in the grocery store when your read multi-syllabic words on a list of ingredients that should be something as simple as heavy cream? Well then you are just like me, and you want to put the food back in your food and also make those iconic classic dishes that make Thanksgiving a food memory holiday.
FYI, green bean cassarole is celebrating its 60th year of existence, created by home economist Dorcas Reilly in 1955 in the Campbell's Kitchens. Viewing of the recipe alone accounts for 25% of Campbell's annual traffic to its website, and over 30% of its sales of cream of mushroom soup happen in November. Just saying. And no matter how much I like or dislike the the classic rendition of the dish - I would like you to never buy their can of condensed soup again. Because you can make your own in less than 20 minutes from recognizable and organic ingredients without the disgusting dose of carcinigens, MSG, unpronounceable unidentifiable things that come in a can of soup off the grocery store shelf. Let us not even get into the reduction of your carbon footprint.
To make everything from scratch for Thanksgiving does not mean you have to spend endless hours in your kitchen or hundreds of dollars at the grocery store. If fact, you may be less likely to spend as much at the store if you make some of the staples for your Thanksgiving meal from the ingredients you keep in your fridge or cupboard. Also, not all recipes are time consuming, nor does everyone need a Thanksgiving meal planning central like me. Here is a photo of my kitchen "desk" starting the Saturday before our beloved holiday.
Honestly, I'm a little bit obsessed with Thanksgiving food. So MOST people do not have to do what I do at all, I don't recommend it. But it is possible, and practicable, to do your Thanksgiving meal pieces from scratch and make some of the staples for classic dishes from whole clean ingredients. And because of my obsession I did the research and found some ways to take those theoretically "must buy" processed things off of your shopping list.
So most of you can look a little more like this guy here, than my pile of kitchen business. OK - so for this first installment of do-it-yourself key ingredients to classic Thanksgiving dishes we are going to cover homemade condensed cream of mushroom soup. For fun, I also made this recipe mostly dairy and a gluten free. What? Yep - mostly dairy and gluten free CREAM of mushroom soup is very possible.
To do completely dairy free start with a vegan butter alternative like Smart Balance or another non-margarine vegetable based fat product (I don't even know if they sell margarine anymore but it is evil so don't do it - vegan butters all the way). I started with cultured salt-free butter. I love cultured butter - it has been good for you since the beginning of the use of dairy when most things were cultured not pasturized, and if you have a dairy intolerance the culturing makes cultured butter more like aged cheese and provides good bacteria for you gut with its happy natural fat content.
Finely chop 1/2 a medium onion, 2 cloves of garlic and 9 large crimini mushrooms. Put them in a pan with 1/4 cup of your melted cultured butter or butter alternative, cover them in a light dusting of salt and pepper and saute them with all until they are happy and soft.
Then add 1/2 cup garbonzo bean flour and stir it into the mixture. After the flour is good and absorbed follow it with a 1/2 cup of chicken broth (homemade preferably) and 1/2 cup of pure almond milk (homemade or Pure brand that has two ingredients almonds and water). Very shortly thereafter you will have something that looks like this.
Super thick creamy mushroomy goodness. The hardest part about this recipe is chopping all the things and stirring. You are now ready to make green bean cassarole from all real ingredients (recipe coming soon) or another Minnesota hotdish favorite from the Lutherin Church Cookbook of your choice.
I failed to photograph the step-by-step of this recipe for you because it was so easy and quick. So just do it - and here is the recipe.
Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup (mostly dairy and gluten-free)
9 crimini mushrooms, finely chopped
1/4 white medium onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/4 cup cultured butter or butter alternative that is not margarine
1/2 cup garbonzo bean flour
1/2 cup chicken broth (or mushroom broth if you want to keep the dish vegan)
1/2 cup pure almond milk (homemade or Pure brand)
Step 1: Chop onion, garlic and mushrooms. Pull out your gluten-free flour, broth and almond milk.
Step 2: Melt butter in a medium saucepan. Add onions and garlic and saute until translucent, then add mushrooms. Add salt and pepper thencCook everything until soft, about 3 minutes.
Step 3: Add garbonzo bean flour and stir until everything is combined and heated, about 1 minutes. Then add chicken/mushroom broth and almond milk.
Step 4: Stir continuously until everything thickens. Remove from heat and set aside in a tupperware container or jar for future use.
Enjoy the freedom from a processed and canned ingredient to your Thanksgiving or everyday feast.