July 24, 2013 by Suzanne
So many easy and tasty recipes call for canned cream of mushroom/celery/chicken soup, but as easy as they are to use, they are not suitable for a low-carb diet. Fortunately, it’s pretty easy to make a really nice white sauce that can be used in place of commercially prepared cream soup in casseroles, soups, and other dishes.
It will keep in the fridge for a while, so if you have extra, you can use it for multiple meals. It’s also pretty quick and easy to make, so you can also make a lot and freeze portions to use later.
1 large head of cauliflower
chicken broth or water and chicken bouillon
1/2 C heavy cream
1/3 C shredded Parmesan cheese
Xanthan Gum, about 1/2 tsp.
Break up the cauliflower into florets into a large pot and add enough chicken broth, or water and about two heaping tablespoons of Chicken Better Than Bouillon, to not quite cover the cauliflower. Bring to a boil, and cook uncovered for 15-20 minutes until the cauliflower is very tender. Stir up the cauliflower while it’s cooking a few times.
When the cauliflower is done, turn off the heat, and carefully puree the cauliflower with the liquid using a stick blender. It’s hot, so be careful of splashing.
Add the cream and Parmesan cheese. The cheese should melt and blend almost immediately.
Sift just a little xanthan gum in a light layer over the top, and using a whisk or the stick blender, blend everything very well. Spread another light layer, and repeat. You should only have to use about half a teaspoon. The goal is to thicken very slightly (it will already be fairly thick), and to prevent the cheese from separating and getting all gloopy.
Season with white pepper, garlic powder, and a little salt if needed. I didn’t put amounts, since it’s really to taste, but as a rough estimate, I’d say about 1/2 tsp white pepper and 1/4 tsp garlic powder.
If the sauce doesn’t feel like it has enough body, or if the taste is too weak or bland, add another handful of Parmesan or shredded cheddar cheese.
That’s all there is to a basic white sauce. If you want cream of mushroom or cream of celery, add some mushrooms or celery when cooking the cauliflower, and then dice some mushrooms or celery, sautee them in a little olive oil, and add them when the sauce is done. For chicken, add a little extra bouillon and some cooked chicken at the end.