Homemade Condensed Soup Base

Cream Soup Base
milanfoto / Getty Images
Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 10 mins
Total: 20 mins
Servings: 6 servings
Yield: 1 cup
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
59 Calories
4g Fat
5g Carbs
2g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
Calories 59
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 4g 5%
Saturated Fat 2g 12%
Cholesterol 11mg 4%
Sodium 112mg 5%
Total Carbohydrate 5g 2%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Total Sugars 1g
Protein 2g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 29mg 2%
Iron 0mg 2%
Potassium 60mg 1%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Condensed soup is used in a range of recipes, from creamy casseroles to slow-cooked meals to hearty soups. For a variety of reasons, you may not want to use canned cream soups in your recipes; many versions are high in sodium and fat, filled with preservatives, and may have BPA (Bisphenol A) in the liner of the can. Preparing cream soups from scratch means you are in control of the ingredients, and this basic recipe is the perfect base for adding whatever flavor of canned soup the dish calls for, whether mushroom, celery, or chicken.

This recipe comes together quick enough that it is easy to use as a substitute for the store-bought variety. Plus, by using low-sodium chicken broth and low-fat or fat-free milk, you are adding a soup that is much healthier than one found in a can, as well as much better tasting.

Similar to a white sauce, this homemade condensed soup base begins with a roux, which is simply cooking flour along with melted butter until the mixture is smooth. Then chicken broth and milk are whisked in, and the soup base is brought to a gentle boil and cooked until thick. Once seasoned with salt and pepper, you can use this recipe as-is, or add in vegetables, herbs, or chicken.

This recipe makes one cup of soup base, which is a little less than a full can of condensed soup; however, when any vegetables are added, the amounts will be closer in quantity.


  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

  • 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth

  • 1/2 cup low-fat or fat-free milk

  • Salt, to taste

  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium-low heat.

  3. Stir in the flour and keep stirring until the mixture is smooth and bubbly.

  4. Remove the pan from the heat and slowly add the chicken broth and milk while stirring or whisking to keep the mixture smooth.

  5. Return the pan to the heat. Bring the sauce to a gentle boil and continue to cook, stirring constantly, until it has thickened.

  6. Add salt and pepper, as needed, to taste.

  7. Use as-is or add in chicken or whatever vegetable the recipe calls for.

  8. Enjoy.

Recipe Variations

  • Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup: Add 4 ounces of canned or sauteéd chopped mushrooms to the base.
  • Condensed Cream of Celery Soup: Add 1/2 cup sautéed chopped celery or 1 teaspoon celery seed to the base.
  • Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup: Add 1/4 cup cooked, diced chicken to the base.
  • Condensed Cream Soup With Herbs: Add fresh or dried herbs as desired.

How to Store

Keep this condensed soup base in a tightly covered container in the refrigerator for up to three days, or freeze for six months.