At the German discount store PLUS the other day, I saw cans of Campbell's Cream of Mushroom Soup on sale. That really set me down Memory Lane, to a 14 year old me back in Secondary 2, learning how to make Chicken Pies during Home Economics class.
So while I am not a fan of canned or industrially-made food in general, I went ahead and bought a few cans of the soup out of nostalgia and since I have nowhere else in my very full pantry to keep them, I promptly made a meal out of 2 cans : improved Cream of Mushroom Soup and Chicken Pies.
I do not want to know how the soup would have tasted like just directly out of the can. If it's anything like the Tomato Soup from the same brand, it would be quite disgusting. What I did was to slice some onions, loads of fresh mushrooms (white and brown), and a stalk of celery and brown them together with bacon bits in a bit of butter. Then I emptied 1 1/2 cans of the Campbell Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup into the pot and stirred in 1 can of water and half a can of milk. Heat up the whole thing for about 15 minutes (do not let it boil though) and then mix it with a handmixer. Add a dash of cream if you wish. I served it with some puff pastry pieces. The soup had lots of flavour and my hubby actually loved it.
The remaining half a can of the condensed soup was used to make a few Chicken Pies. Pre-heat the oven to 180ºC. Using round cutters cut out Puff Pastry rounds (I'll put up a simple recipe another day, but just use the ones sold in the supermarket they are quite good nowadays) and line a muffin tray with them. Use a smaller cutter to make puff pastry rounds to cover the pies.
In a frying pan brown a few chicken filets in some olive oil, sprinkling some salt, pepper and Herbes de Provence over them. When they are done, take them out of the pan and place them on kitchen towels to absorb the oil. Dice them into small cubes.
In the same frying pan, brown some diced onions, potatoes (use a boiled potato), celery, carrots and mushrooms. Add in the chicken cubes, some green peas, the condensed soup and some pepper. Stir fry everything for a few minutes, adjusting the sauce with a bit of milk if necessary. If you wish, at the end of the cooking, you may add in a hard-boiled egg (diced, of course).
Fill in the puff pastry cases with the filling and cover with a pastry round before putting the muffin tray in the oven. If you wish, you may waste an egg and brush the pastry cover with some egg yolk so that it turns out prettier. Bake for about 20-25 minutes. Eat them hot.