In an effort to eat healthier and less processed foods, I've been avoiding using canned, condensed Cream O' Whatever Soup in my cooking. But as so many recipes use it as an ingredient, I now have a substitute that is dairy free, gluten free (yes, they put gluten in the canned soups), a bunch of other stuff free, and replaces those things with vegetables and whole grain. I know! It's almost too good to be true! And it's cheaper than canned soups. What keeps it real is that you do have to prepare it ahead of time--but then you can keep can-sized portions in the freezer and pull them out as needed. I know! A small price to pay for all the advantages.
Here is what I've been using:
1/2 head of cauliflower, steamed
1 onion or 2 T. minced dried onion (or some onion powder)
some mushrooms (optional)
2 cups cooked brown rice
1 or 2 cups broth (depending how thick you want it)
1 tsp. minced garlic or 1 clove
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper, or a few grinds
Coarse cut the vegetables (except the steamed cauliflower) and saute them in 1 Tbl. or so olive oil. You can skip this step, but it gives the soup a fantastic flavor. (Such that I enjoyed it for lunch right out of the blender before freezing what was left for the original purpose.) Add the spices to the saute pan as well. When they are limp, toss them into the blender with the rest of the ingredients.
Blend them well and whah-lah you've got yourself your own Better Than Cream O' Soup!
A can is equal 1 1/3 cups, so I measure 1 1/3 cups into a sandwich baggie or 2 2/3 cups into a quart sized freezer bag and store them flat in the freezer. Even if I have a bag with two "cans" of soup in it, I can defrost it slightly and break half of it off to use just one "can" worth. Wow it looks so good, I could eat it right out of the carton.
Wait, wrong stuff--ignore the carton on the left. Definitely not dairy free or packed with veggies and whole grains.
I've used it in standard recipes like chicken/broccoli/rice casserole, chicken enchiladas, noodle casseroles, and soup as well as others I'll introduce you to later. And if the kids take a microscopic helping of vegetables on the side, you can just smile and know that if they eat the main dish, they're getting their cruciferous vegetable in!
P.S. The soup will be greenish if you don't peel the zucchini--your preference
(Later the obvious dawned on me--use a yellow summer squash instead of the zucchini)