Food Musings

A Winnipeg blog about the joy of preparing food for loved ones and the shared joy that travel & dining brings to life.

Nutritious Substitute for Cream of Mushroom Soup


In the olden days when I was a young Mom, I had a couple of go-to recipe books where many of our family’s meals originated.  The Best of Bridge was one resource and the Company’s Coming cookbooks another.  But the most family meals likely came from The Campbell Soup Cookbook.  With a few simple ingredients, a can of cream soup (it didn’t much matter whether it was cream of chicken, cream of mushroom or cream of celery) could be transformed into supper.

Fast forward to present day where I try to cook as “clean” as possible, avoiding processed foods, “white” ingredients, reducing fat and increasing fibre.  BUT, my family still have favourite dishes that they love the taste and memories of.  This week our youngest was writing her last major paper of her winter semester at university.  On the day that she successfully sent it off,  I asked her what she would like me to make for dinner to celebrate her hard work.  The answer: Chicken Enchiladas and I knew that I better not muck around with the recipe too much because this particular offspring is a stickler for tradition and authenticity.  So I had to be sneaky about it.  I prefer to refer to my tactics as “clever”.

The original recipe is pretty basic: cook up fresh or left over chicken with diced onion and chili powder.  In the mean time, mix a can of cream soup with equal parts of sour cream.  Add a couple of dollops of this mixture to the chicken.  Place the chicken mixture in a line across the edge of a flour tortilla.  Roll up, place in a pan and spread with the sour cream mixture.  Cover with foil and bake until the centre of the middle wrap is heated through and add grated cheese over top.

I modified the recipe by mixing up a batch of the soup substitute:

Nutritious Substitute for Cream of Mushroom Soup
Recipe type: Main
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
This makes a multi-use batch. Keep the remainders in an air tight container on your pantry shelf.
  • 2 c non-fat dried milk
  • ¾ c cornstarch
  • ¼ c chicken bouillon (the measurement is of the dry before rehydration)
  • 2 T dehydrated minced onion
  • 1 t thyme
  • 1 t basil
  • ½ t pepper
  1. Add ⅓ c of the soup mixture above to 1¼ c cold water
  2. Add 1 T canola oil
  3. Heat until completely consolidated

I also substituted no-fat sour cream, whole wheat tortilla shells and fat reduced marble cheese.  The result? My family a) could not tell the difference and b) preferred the modified version to the original.


The consistency was different, the substitute version in foreground.


The two versions looked identical when added to the chicken and heated.


The difference in consistency was evident before they were placed into the oven.


Both versions side by side and you couldn’t tell the difference (even to the discerning taste buds of Daughter #2).

Lucky for us, J1, J2 and the Wee One arrived at our door right at supper time so we had another expert judge at the table and at our house at dinner time, it is always to more, the merrier.

Kath’s quote: “Serve this dish with much too much wine for your guests, along with some cooked green vegetables and a huge salad. You will be famous in about half an hour.” -Jeff Smith (The Frugal Gourmet)


Love-that is all.


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