Can-free: Homemade condensed cream of celery soup (new recipe)

I've had so many requests for this recipe, I can't believe it's taken me so long to share it! But, better late than never, right? :)

Ten years ago, I would head to the dollar store to stock up on cheap canned cream soups -- cream of chicken and cream of celery.

We also happened to have quite a few new friends in the area where we had just moved (SW Missouri) who were health-conscious, and to them, the idea of making a recipe that used a can of cream soup was sacrilegious. ;)

I wasn't ready to ditch some of my favorite recipes -- like cheesy potatoes -- just because they called for a can of soup. Instead, I created my own condensed cream of chicken soup recipe, which I've been making and successfully substituting in recipes ever since! (And, it's one of my more popular recipes, with 23 reviews!)

I usually use the cream of chicken recipe, but sometimes cream of celery is more appropriate. (And I like variety.) Here, finally, is my recipe for a homemade condensed cream of celery soup!

This recipe takes me about 20 minutes to make and makes about 2 cans' worth. No, you won't be saving lots of dollars per hour making this soup, but if you love high-quality homemade ingredients and enjoy cooking, this is a fun one to do.

And, it freezes well, so you can make a bigger batch, freeze in 1 1/2-cup portions, and just thaw to use as needed... since sometimes dinner prep needs to be cut short due to the clingy baby or toddler (not that I would know anything about that...). ;)

Do you make your own canned cream-of soup substitutes, or would you rather just pay the 50 cents for a can from the store? (Are they still 50 cents?) :)


Easiest chicken pot pie recipe, and it tastes better than the one using homemade white sauce: use 1 can (or equivalent homemade) cream of potato soup (I use leftover creamed potato stew) and 1/2 a can cream of celery (or equiv) soup.Add a bit of milk to thin it if necessary..some Bell's Seasoning or thyme/rosemary/ bay.. Add peas & carrots with a redi made or home made crust. NOMNOMNOM.

I think the soup has gone up a bit since then! :) But I make my own too. Here is my recipe for fast 'cream of mushroom' cubes...
I wanted a 'freezable' recipe, and making flavored 'starter cubes' was the *easiest* and best way I could think of. They take up WAY less room in the freezer. I just add the butter/flour/milk and a cube or two of mushroom concentrate to my recipe, and Voila!!!
I need to work on a celery and chicken cube recipe. :)

Amazing idea, Gwen!! Thanks so much for sharing. My only question would be when you need to use the "can of soup" straight from a can... stirring it or layering it (cold) into a casserole or something... then the flavoring cubes wouldn't work (?). But for hot recipes, that sounds like an easy and delicious alternative!! :)

No matter what it costs, I do not use canned soup because of all the crud in it! In particular, the sodium content is outrageous! It goes farther than that though--read the ingredient list! Ycuk! Currently I use a dry mix I concoct myself (based on but not identical to a recipe from This is fat free, sodium free, and the only questionable items are some salt-free bouillion powder and the dried onion flakes (which who knows what they do to them!). It works fine most of the time, but it's a bit lacking in structure/thickening power when used in the crock pot. I add some mushrooms for mushroom soup, celery for Celery soup, and so on... This looks like a better solution to me, although not when I'm in a huge hurry, and the thickening power isn't that critical. Thanks!

Those kinds of canned soup have tripled in price.

in place of any "canned soup" called for in a recipe -- just varying the ingredients and spices. In the past I didn't have a lot of freezer room, so never considered making a larger batch and freezing part of it. Now that we've got a small chest freezer, I may start doubling my sauce batches!

I do still keep some canned soup in the emergency supplies (earthquake country here!). It's about a dollar a can.

I have been waiting for this! THANKS!!!! We cut out canned soups because of all the MSG.

Laura from Heavenly Homemakers says that instead of cream soups, most of the time she just uses cream. I haven't tried it yet, but I'm going to. :-)

~Stacy from Stacy Makes Cents

Let me know how that works, Stacy! :) I think it would work with some recipes, but I can't imagine putting 1 1/2 cups of cream in, say, hot chicken sandwiches or something. LOL! :)

I am looking to revamp my crockpot chicken and dumplings recipe that calls for 2 cans of cream of ______. I am assuming that I could not add this homemade version at the beginning like the canned stuff - it might "break." right? Has anyone tried it in the crockpot? Maybe stir it in at the end?

Thanks for the recipe . . .


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