Homemade Campbell’s Condensed Soup

This week I had a severe craving for homemade clam chowder. It’s that time of the year for comforting soups – don’t worry I included the recipe. One of the ingredients needed was two cans of cream of celery soup. I went to the grocery store full of hope and was appalled that it was going to cost me $1.50 per can. Two minutes of research and I found out just how easy it is to make your own cream of celery or cream of anything soup.

Are you ready for the complicated ingredients? Flour, milk, chicken broth, butter and celery. That’s it! No preservatives and it certainly doesn’t cost you $1.50 to make it yourself.

The recipe is just as simple:

  • In a sauté pan, melt 1 tablespoon of butter.
  • Add ¼ cup of finely chopped celery and sauté a few minutes.
  • Add 1 tablespoon of flour and sauté for a few minutes.
  • Add ½ cup chicken broth and ½ cup milk.
  • Warm mixture, but do not boil and add to your recipe

Ta da! You have officially made your own cream of celery soup!

When you are working with a recipe, it is normally going to call for the condensed soup and then a cup or more of milk. The above recipe includes the replacement for both the condensed soup and the cup of milk.

In English:

  • If you recipe calls for 1 can of condensed soup and 1 cup of milk. Make the above recipe and you’re done.
  • If your recipe calls for 1 can of condensed soup and 2 cups of milk. Make the above recipe and add 1 cup of milk.

If you want to make another variety of condensed soup, the recipes provided here are just as simple.

Cream of Chicken – make the above recipe, but omit the celery. Instead add ¼ teaspoon of poultry seasoning.

Cream of Mushroom – make the above recipe, but do not use any chicken broth or celery. Add a full cup of milk and sauté a ¼ cup of mushrooms.

Are you ready for the brilliant part? If you want to make any of these recipes gluten free, you just have to change one thing: substitute the flour for either gluten free flour or cornstarch and you’re set! Ta dah! Gluten free with ease! 

If only all of these money saving finds were this simple!

Here’s the clam chowder recipe I made. I adjusted it from the original to include the homemade cream of celery soup. I hope you enjoy!


Thick and Creamy New England Clam Chowder

By teen on January 27, 2003

  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hrs 15 mins
  • Servings: 4-6


    • 6 -7 pieces bacon, cut into small pieces
    • 1 medium onions, chopped
    • 2 (5 ounce) cans baby clams, with juice reserved
    • 6 -7 potatoes, cubed
    • 2 tablespoons of butter
    • 2 tablespoons of flour
    • ½ cup celery, finely chopped
    • 1 cup chicken broth
    • 1 cup milk  
    • 1 cup heavy cream
    • 1 teaspoon dried dill weed


  1. Add bacon to a large sauce pan and cook on medium low heat until crispy.
  2. Add onion and cook until translucent.
  3. Add clam juice from both cans.
  4. Add potatoes. Cook and cover until potatoes are fork tender, about 15-20 minutes. Stir occasionally so potatoes won’t stick.
  5. In a separate pan, make your cream of celery soup:       
    1. Melt the butter
    2. Add the celery and sauté for a few minutes
    3. Add the flour and sauté for a few minutes
    4. Add the chicken broth and milk and warm the mixture
  6. In your sauce pan, add clams, soup, cream and dill weed.
  7. Stir together.
  8. Cook for about 30-45 minutes or until thickened.
  9. Stir occasionally.

13 thoughts on “Homemade Campbell’s Condensed Soup

  1. While NOTHING is a substitute for cream of coups in certain recipes, My tricky trick for cream of …soup (the one in my freezer is broccoli/potato) take about a cup out and cream it in the food processor. No milk. THICK. I have eaten it straight (with water or milk added to thin) and I used it to make a chicken….which I then used to make chicken broth! It’s the circle of life. I love this blog! You have such great ideas. Breaking everything down to what you can do at home. Are you gluten free? By choice?

    • Sarah, thank you so much for the tips. I might have to give that a try sometime. Thank you for the tremendous compliment about my blog. It’s so much fun to write and I’m delighted to hear that you’re enjoying it!

      I’m not gluten intolerant, but one of my close friends is. I know how hard it is for her to find everyday foods that she can eat without having to second guess. Considering gluten free normally makes the price double, I was thrilled to see that it was acutally cheap and easy to convert this recipe. Next time she’s over for dinner, I’ll know just what to do.

  2. Thank you for the conversion recipe. I just KNEW it was that simple, but I’m a follow directions kinda gal so it helps to have quantities specified. Way too many recipes these days assume we all stock our pantries with campbells soups. I gave them up a long time ago – too many obscure and unnecessary ingredients, imho. I make and can my own stock, both meat and vegetable, and am able to whip up a white sauce or gravy in a heartbeat. So knowing how to make the equivalent of a can of cream of etc is really high value in my book. Thanks again!

  3. Pingback: The Highlights of 2012 | Creative Campbell

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