4/28/05 | Campbells Mushroom Soup
[ Currently Eating: Crackers ]
I find there’s a lot of uses for canned cream of mushroom soup, the majority of which are casseroles. So I try to keep a few cans around all the time. Actually, the key is to buy ‘em in bulk (6 for $3?) at CostCo once again because as the bottom of this particular can I’m looking at says, it will last until MARCH 2007. That’s 2 years! Cheap Eats pantry heaven. Plus you can get your Andy Warhol fix having all those soup cans lined up…
Anyhow, I actually like cream of mushroom soup plain as it is, straight up, just add water. Seriously, I don’t even add milk sometimes. I can hear you cringe. But it’s actually really good and surprisingly filling. Here’s a sample:
A Mushroom Soup Lunch
Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom Soup (1 can) — $0.50
French Bread (1 small mini loaf) — $0.25
Salt / pepper / water — negligible
Put Campbell’s soup in pot. Add water. Bring to boil stirring often, or it will burn on the bottom like no tomorrow. Meanwhile put your bread in the toaster and toast it up. Put soup in a large, no, HUGE bowl. Help yourself to bread. Yum!
Duhrr.. I know, there’s more to it than that. And you don’t want to do that every day. But that’s 75 cents for a pretty good lunch. I actually use crackers (saltines are a favorite)
Mushroom soup gets really useful when you use it as a base for sauces. The stuff is condensed so it’s actually really tasty. (Health-concerned cheap eaters should be concerned that it has a bunch of MSG in it… but that’s another tale.) I’ll be posting some of those recipes later, but you can basically use it to make anything from Turkey A La King to Tuna Casserole to Smothered Chicken. What makes a difference is the amount of dilution and what you use to dilute it (water, milk, chicken stock). It also makes pretty durned fast gravy.
Actually, here’s a “Chicken Bake” right off the can:
Campbell’s Mushroom Soup (1 can) — $0.50
2 Skinless, Boneless Chicken Breast Halves – $2.00
pepper / water — negligible
I modified this to a half recipe, plus I like more gravy! Place chicken in 2 qt. baking dish, glass is good. Spread soup evenly over the chicken and cover it. You probably want to dilute the soup a bit w/ water and add some black pepper.
Bake the whole shebang for 30 minutes at 400 degrees. Take it out. That’s it.