Substitutes for heavy cream in soup

I’m planning on making my Chicken-Corn Chowder today (for dinner, and to clear out some containers in the downstairs freezers). But I don’t have any heavy cream (recipe calls for 1-1/2 cups; I only use 1/2 cup or so).

Various substitutes I’ve found are (and these are ingredients I have in the house right now - I’m NOT getting dressed to go outside today):

Milk & Butter
This milk and butter recipe is great when you have a recipe that calls for heavy cream that does not need to be whipped. For each cup of heavy cream in the recipe, melt 1/3 cup of unsalted butter and add it to ¾ cup of milk. Note that if you use low-fat milk, you will want to add 1 tablespoon of flour to thicken the mixture. Stir until well mixed.

Evaporated Milk & Vanilla Extract
For this substitute, first be sure the evaporated milk is chilled. After removing from the refrigerator, add vanilla to the milk to make it taste as you want. This mixture is a good one for soup recipes that call for heavy cream.

Half-and-Half & Butter
For each 1 cup of heavy cream in a recipe, you can use a substitute of butter and half-and-half. Melt 1/6 cup of butter and allow it to cool. Be sure it does not solidify during the cooling process. Put 7/8 cup of half-and-half into a bowl and stir in the cool melted butter until they are well blended.

Which would be YOUR preference?  The Evap milk and vanilla one seems odd to me, especially using it in a soup.  Could I just use chilled evaporated milk?

Probably all work to some extend. I think I like the idea of Milk & Butter.

I’m leaning towards that (with the addition of a bit of flour, as I only have 1% milk), or the chilled evaporated milk. Problem is, the “use by” date on the evap milk is a bit long in the tooth, so I’ll probably open it and check it out, but will probably use the 1%/butter/flour blend.

No wonder you are skinny…

You need to gain a little… you look like a stick.


The saying goes that cameras add 10 lbs.
Real life adds a LOT more than that :wink:

I’ve used evaporated milk (sans vanilla, whose brainchild was that?!) in soup to get a creamy component in there. Works like a charm, and as it’s already canned, not sure why it matters that it’s chilled, either. Very strange.

The Evap milk makes sense to me as well. Adding the vanilla does not. (And I saw it on several websites!) My biggest concern is the “use by” date on the can. As I said - it was awhile back, although the can is not bulging. I think I’m going to stick with the 1% milk, butter and a bit of flour/cornstarch for added thickening.

Yup, that works, too.

this is why i always have canned coconut milk on hand. of your current choices, i probably would have taken my chances with the evaporated milk:)

Half and half plus butter, definitely.

:wink: I’m in the 1/2 & 1/2 camp Linda … which helps explain why I’ve ne’er looked like you.

I ended up using the 1% milk, butter, and a bit of flour method.

BTW, when they say “make sure the butter has cooled but not resolidified”, they mean it. I put it in when it felt cool, but it wasn’t. It went back to butter bits the instant it hit the cold milk. So I scooped out the solids and did it again, waiting until the melted butter was fully cool but still liquid. Took awhile, but it stayed together with lots of whisking. And did exactly what I wanted it to do in my soup - made it slightly creamy.

I probably should have used the half-and-half, but I need it for my coffee in the morning. :slight_smile:

You’ve probably made and eaten your soup by now😀 but I’ve had luck with the milk and butter method. I was also going to suggest puréeing some of the corn as a nice thickener.

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I did do this, Gemgirl! It’s made, but I haven’t eaten it yet. I’m about ready to go gently reheat some of it and heat up a crusty roll to go along with it.