If you're like me, then you really don't care if your food is processed or not. I watch pretty well what I eat, but I never don't eat something that I really love because of the ingredients it contains or the amount of fat or calories that it has. I eat a lot of fruits, especially at work, I eat a lot of whole grains in anything I can including things like waffles and goldfish crackers. I eat a lot of brown rice, tuna, & vegetable soups at work for lunch, but our favorite food is pizza and there are times we eat it three times a week. I love food, & I love flavor, but one thing that I found that I was using the "processed" version of constantly in my home cooked meals was cream of chicken soup. The stuff that comes in the can that you add to pretty much any recipe in the crockpot along with countless other meals.
If you ever look on the back of a can of Cream of Chicken you will see there are a lot of ingredients for what should be pretty simple to make. Well, for the last year or so I've been making my own cream of chicken (or beef, or mushroom) soup & I can tell you hands down the flavor is so much better, it's much richer, & you know what all of the ingredients are. The first time I made it and used it in my chicken pot pie rather than the canned stuff, Joe noticed right off the bat that I used something different that he actually liked better.
What you'll need (to make two "cans"): 4 TBSP of butter, 4 TBSP of flour, 2 Cups of 1% milk, & 1 TBSP of L.B. Jamison's Chicken Flavoring.
In a skillet on high heat, melt the 2 TBSP of butter.
you will want the butter to be melted all the way, & nice and bubbly
Add the 4 TBSP of flour and begin whisking, this will create a roux, which is a French word and is a substance created by mixing flour & fat (or butter).
Add the flour & whisk together, it should look like a bubbly paste
Once you have your roux, you will slowly pour in your milk & continue to whisk until it begins to thicken again.
Once it begins to thicken up a bit, you are ready to add your chicken flavoring.
You can basically make it whatever you want to at this point. You don't even have to add chicken flavoring, but I always do. I use the L.B. Jamison's because its more like a paste & it melts quickly, I wouldn't recommend using the cubes. You can also add beef bouillon for & mushrooms for a cream of mushroom soup. I don't like mushrooms so when I make things like beef stroganoff, I just use beef bouillon and omit the mushrooms.
Add your bouillon, whisk thoroughly, and voila!! You've got rich, creamy, additive free, cream of chicken soup.
I wouldn't think that this version is any healthier, per say, let's face it, it's loaded with milk, butter, & flour, the three most fattening things I can think of, but I cut down a bit by using 1% milk, & I figure there are no ingredients in it that I can't pronounce so it has to be a little bit better for us.