Gluten-Free Cream of Celery Soup Recipe: Make It How You Want It

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Sneak Preview: This Gluten-Free Cream of Celery Soup recipe is easily customizable for your dietary needs. Easy directions for microwave or stove-top.

How long has it been since you made your favorite casserole because you need it to be salt or gluten-free? If that recipe calls for condensed cream of celery soup, try making it yourself with this recipe. Cornstarch is the thickening agent. Salt is easy to leave out or use a salt substitute.

cream of celery soup in a glass jar

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Cooks who liked my homemade Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup and Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup have requested other varieties of condensed cream soups.

In time for Thanksgiving, I revisited the idea. Condensed cream of celery soup is the result. Customize this soup with herbs and other vegetables if you desire.

What variations can I use with this recipe?

Try different herbs such as thyme, oregano, or parsley. Add some chopped carrots, broccoli, red peppers, or shallots. Get creative.

Ingredients and substitutions:

  • CELERY: Fresh celery is best. I often freeze chopped celery if I have more than I can use. This recipe is perfect for that celery.
  • VEGETABLE OIL: My vegetable oil of choice is avocado oil. Any light vegetable oil can be substituted.
  • EVAPORATED MILK: The original goal with this recipe was to imitate Campbells. The cooked taste of evaporated milk comes closest. Also, evaporated milk is more stable with higher temperatures that may be present in casseroles.
  • CORNSTARCH: Using cornstarch to thicken this soup makes it gluten-free as opposed to using flour. Always check the label to be sure.
  • ONION POWDER: Onion powder is easy. Like evaporated milk, if you want a fresher taste, use fresh or frozen onions instead. You will only need about a tablespoon.
  • WHITE PEPPER: Substitute black pepper or freshly ground pepper.
  • CELERY SALT: Celery salt pumps up the flavor. Substitute the same amount of regular salt or leave it out completely for a sodium-free version of this recipe.

Can I substitute regular milk for evaporated milk?

Various kinds of fresh milk will work, from non-fat to half-and-half or heavy cream. However, they won’t stand up to the prolonged cooking many recipes require. If you accidentally let the soup or casserole boil, it may break and curdle.

frozen celery and vacuum-packed celery

Kitchen Tip: How to freeze celery

While we’re talking about celery, did you know you can freeze it? Freezing is an excellent solution for leftover celery. Otherwise, it often languishes in the produce drawer until it turns brown and slimy.

I wouldn’t use it in chicken salad, but frozen celery works well in a recipe when the celery cooks. Chop up the raw celery and throw it into a plastic bag. Use it like you would frozen chopped onions or peppers.

Try vacuum-sealing the stalks into a glass jar the same way I vacuum-pack cut lettuce. Store both in the refrigerator, of course. This technique will buy you several more days of freshness.

How to make gluten-free “cream of celery” soup in a microwave:

showing how to make celery soup in the microwave

How to make celery soup on the stove:

What about freezing?

Freezing soup made with fresh milk may result in some separation when it thaws. You may or may not care, depending on how you use it. Evaporated milk is more stable and results in a product closest to that found in the can, in my opinion.

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More recipes for homemade condensed soup:

If you have questions or suggestions, email me privately to Paula at saladinajar.com. Hope to see you again soon! Paula

Gluten-Free Cream of Celery Soup Recipe

Using only a whisk and a microwave, you can make your own condensed cream of celery soup. Customize to your own taste.
5 from 11 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 7 mins
Total Time 12 mins
Course Soup
Servings 3 servings

Ingredients

  • ¾ cup finely chopped celery
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable or avocado oil
  • 1 cup 2% evaporated milk - 8-ounces
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder - or substitute 1 tablespoon chopped onion
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • teaspoon white pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon celery salt or table salt
  • Pinch of sugar

Instructions
 

Microwave Method

  • Place chopped celery and oil into a 2 quart glass microwave-safe bowl. Cover and cook on HIGH for 4 minutes. (If substituting onion for onion powder, add the onion to the celery to knock off the crunchiness.)
  • Add remaining ingredients and whisk until smooth.
  • Microwave for 2 minutes, stopping to whisk after 1 minute and again when finished.

Stove-Top Method

  • Saute celery (and onion if substituting for powder) in hot oil in skillet over medium heat.
  • When vegetables are softened, add milk, then whisk in remaining ingredients. Stir constantly and cook gently until thickened.

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
Gluten-Free Cream of Celery Soup Recipe
Serving Size
 
1
Amount per Serving
Calories
 
139
Calories from Fat 54
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
6
g
9
%
Saturated Fat
 
1
g
6
%
Polyunsaturated Fat
 
1
g
Cholesterol
 
15
mg
5
%
Sodium
 
315
mg
14
%
Carbohydrates
 
15
g
5
%
Fiber
 
1
g
4
%
Sugar
 
9
g
10
%
Protein
 
6
g
12
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Author: Paula Rhodes
Course: Soup
Cuisine: American
Keywords: condensed soupcream soupsgluten-freegluten-free cream of celery soupmicrowaveSoup Recipes
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36 Comments

  1. Love to try this! I usually use cream of chicken soup but I could try this substitute.

    Great stopping by, Paula!

  2. It’s good to have an option other than the canned stuff! Why haven’t I ever thought of freezing celery? Great idea!

  3. Oh thank you! I was just thinking about how I’d like to convert some recipes that call for this to fully home made. Fantastic!

  4. Amanda Rhodes says:

    I love the new recipe cards! Very cool.

  5. Paula, I may be the last cook in America to admit this, but I haven’t used cream of (anything) soup in recipes, LOL. Could you give a few examples where you would use this? The only one I ever knew of is when my mother in law would use cream of mushroom over a roast to make a gravy.

    1. Hi Vicki,
      I love to make pot roast with cream of mushroom soup. If you look in any community cookbook, I suspect you’ll find several recipes calling for condensed cream soups.

  6. Thank you – can’t wait to try it.

  7. Mmm….mmmm…mmmm! Looks healthy and hearty and I can see switching out the celery for broccoli at some point too. Have you ever done that?

  8. Do you have a recipe for cream of chicken soup? It is the one that I use most often.Thanks and love your blog.

    1. Donna,
      Great suggestion. It is on my (long) list.

  9. The Café Sucré Farine says:

    Wow, I would have never thought about making this at home but it certainly sounds a lot healthier and tastier!

  10. This is brilliant. I cringe to use canned soups. I’ll have to try this.

  11. Nice recipe Paula, I do like how you take the high salt and preservative canned soups that work so great in recipes and make it homemade and it really looks pretty easy too.

  12. love the homemade versions for cream of any soup. do use cornstarch rather than flour–cooks up much nicer

  13. I like to use the cream of mushroom soup in beef stew, especially if I have no fresh mushrooms and no time to run to store. This is great, so now I know exactly what we are ingesting.
    Love your web site. Have used so many of your recipes and tips.

    1. Thank-you Marilou. Your comment made my day!

  14. Thanks.
    I need this to make Reuben Chowder for relative who has celiac’s disease and need everything gluten free. This should do it.

  15. have tried several different recipes for gluten free “cream of ..soup” this is by far the best perfect consistency the evaporated milk makes all the difference

  16. Is there a way to make a vegan version of this condensed soup? I see that when you talk about using evaporated instead of cow milk, you talk about the curdling, etc. Would that be handled better by almond, coconut, or soy milks?

  17. This was as easy as you made it look. I made on the stove and it wrked perfectly in the dish it was for. Thank you.

  18. I am so happy to find this relatively easy-looking recipe, since the commercial maker of the gluten-free cream of celery soup I have been using stopped making it. I always keep some on hand, as I use it instead of cream of mushroom soup in a LOT of recipes. Can you freeze this?

  19. Thank you for all your condensed cream soup recipes! We have a gluten allergy in our home, and all cream soups on the shelf have gluten! Your recipes have given us some of our favorite dishes back!! Thank you!

  20. Can this be frozen or canned for later use? I need to restock my pantry and might just make rather than buy!

    1. Yes, it can be frozen. Have not tried to can it so can’t say about that. It may separate slightly when thawed but if you nuke it a bit and give it a good whisk, it will be smooth again.

  21. Leah Scholten says:

    Is this recipe equivalent to one can of the name brand stuff or is it more?

    1. Hi Leah, Yes. Same amount as a regular can of Campbells soup.

  22. Do you need to add the oil if you are using the microwave version?

    1. Amber,
      Oil adds flavor, improves the texture, and gives you a product closer to what most people are used to out of the can. But you can leave it out if you like.

  23. I made this for my Funeral Potatoes recipe and it worked great. Fantastic flavor and I know exactly what ingredients used were. Thank you!

  24. So I just prepared this using the microwave. I plan on using it in a tuna rice casserole that I have always used the canned soup in. I can’t seem to figure out if this makes an amount equal to one can, and is it truly condensed? As in, am I supposed to add an equal amount of water if the recipe says to add one can of water? It looks really good, but mostly all I tasted was the cornstarch. Maybe I need more salt or to cook it longer? Thank you! I love how easy this was!

    1. Hi Wendy,
      I use this soup exactly the way I would a can of soup from the store. It is truly condensed. I can’t imagine eating it straight up without adding water or milk–way too thick and rich. I’m not sure about the cornstarch taste. I do not detect it myself. This soup has considerably less salt than what you get at the store. You might try adding more salt if that’s what you are use to.

      You should cook it until it is very thick–however long that takes. Of course, it will become a lot thicker as it cools.

  25. How long can you keep it in the refrigerator?

  26. Sharon Williams says:

    Hi! I will be using this recipe to make green bean casserole for Thanksgiving. I need it to be gluten free and am wondering if I could use gluten free flour instead of corn starch and could I substitute butter for the oil? Thanks! I realize I am cutting this close to the holiday so if I don’t hear back from you in time I will just experiment!

    1. Hi Sharon,
      I have not tried gluten-free flour myself. Would think that butter would work fine although I haven’t tried that either. Hope it works for you. Happy Thanksgiving.

  27. This recipe was so easy! I really appreciate the microwave directions. Worked so well.

    1. Glad you liked it, Sarah. I like to use my microwave anytime I can.