Food & Drink

Homemade canned soup comes in handy

In some circles, “Cream of” soup is the worst thing you can say about a dish. Opening a can of Cream of Mushroom or Cream of Chicken is a shortcut that’s loaded with sodium and artificial ingredients, the very definition of glop.

But there’s a reason it’s such a common ingredient: Opening a can is an easy way to get a bechamel without cooking a roux. Is there a way to get the best of both worlds?

In the new “The Southern Pantry Cookbook,” author Jennifer Chandler includes a handy idea: “Cream of” soup from scratch. You can make chicken or mushroom, and it makes just over a cup, the equivalent of one 10.75-ounce can of soup. Even better: You can control the sodium, lower the fat by using reduced-fat milk, and there are no artificial thickeners. You also can make it when you need it.

Handy idea. Thanks, Jennifer.