Campbell’s cream of mushroom soup is a popular canned soup product that has been around for decades. It’s known for its rich, creamy texture and savory mushroom flavor. But an important question for many consumers is: does Campbell’s cream of mushroom soup contain dairy?
The answer is not straightforward. Some varieties of Campbell’s cream of mushroom soup do contain milk or milk derivatives, while others are dairy-free. Examining the ingredients list closely is the only way to know for sure if a particular product contains dairy.
Why It Matters If Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom Soup Contains Dairy
There are a few key reasons why it’s important to know if Campbell’s cream of mushroom soup contains dairy:
- Dietary restrictions – People with dairy allergies, lactose intolerance, or those following a vegan diet need to avoid products containing milk or milk derivatives.
- Recipe substitutions – If a recipe calls for cream of mushroom soup, you may need to find a dairy-free substitute depending on the dietary needs of those eating it.
- Nutritional differences – Some people wish to limit or increase dairy for nutritional reasons. Knowing the dairy content allows you to plan accordingly.
- Food sensitivities – Beyond formal allergies and intolerances, some people report gastrointestinal distress from dairy products and wish to limit consumption.
Ingredients That Indicate Dairy
When checking the ingredients list on a can or pouch of Campbell’s cream of mushroom soup, here are some terms that indicate the presence of dairy:
- Nonfat milk
- Evaporated milk
- Sour cream
- Milk protein concentrate
- Milk solids
If the ingredients list contains any of these terms, the product is not dairy-free. Always read carefully, as some varieties of Campbell’s cream of mushroom soup contain milk or milk derivatives while others do not.
Varieties of Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom Soup
Campbell’s offers several different types and formulations of their classic cream of mushroom soup. Here is an overview of some of the key varieties and their dairy content:
Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup
The original condensed cream of mushroom soup contains milk and milk derivatives. The ingredients list includes milk, butter, and cream. It is not dairy-free.
98% Fat Free Cream of Mushroom Soup
The 98% fat free version also contains milk, cheese, and butter according to the ingredients list. It is not dairy-free.
Low Sodium Cream of Mushroom Soup
Like the others, the low sodium cream of mushroom soup contains milk and is not dairy-free.
Healthy Request Cream of Mushroom Soup
This version contains milk and butter and is not dairy-free.
Organic Cream of Mushroom Soup
Surprisingly, the organic cream of mushroom soup is one of the few varieties that does not contain milk or milk derivatives. The ingredients are mushrooms, water, wheat flour, canola oil, and sea salt. This makes it one of the only dairy-free options.
Dairy-Free Cream of Mushroom Soup Alternatives
For those needing to avoid dairy, there are some alternatives to traditional Campbell’s cream of mushroom soup:
- Purchase Campbell’s Organic Cream of Mushroom soup, which is dairy-free.
- Make homemade dairy-free cream of mushroom soup using plant-based milk and dairy substitutes.
- Choose another commercial brand of vegan or dairy-free cream soup.
- Use a mushroom sauce or gravy instead of cream soup in recipes.
- Modify recipes to use a dairy-free cream base like cashew cream or coconut milk.
Checking ingredients and using specially formulated products is key for avoiding dairy in cream of mushroom soup. With some adjustments, you can achieve a similar rich, creamy texture and flavor profile.
Nutritional Profile: Dairy vs. Dairy-Free Cream of Mushroom Soup
One thing to consider is how the nutritional profile changes when you choose a dairy-free cream of mushroom soup instead of a dairy-containing one:
Calories and Fat
Traditional condensed cream of mushroom soup gets a significant amount of calories and fat from dairy ingredients like cream and butter. Dairy-free versions are lower in calories and total fat without those ingredients.
Dairy products add a boost of protein, so dairy-free soups will be slightly lower in protein content.
Vitamins and Minerals
Many vitamins and minerals like calcium, vitamin D, vitamin B12, and riboflavin occur naturally in dairy products. Dairy-free soups provide lower amounts of these nutrients.
With less fat and protein, dairy-free soups may contain slightly more carbohydrates per serving compared to dairy-containing soups.
Sodium levels vary more based on the specific recipe and added salt rather than dairy content.
So in summary, dairy-free cream of mushroom soups are lower in calories, fat, and certain vitamins and minerals. But they can still provide rich flavor and creamy texture.
Common Uses for Cream of Mushroom Soup
Here are some of the most popular ways that both dairy and dairy-free cream of mushroom soups are used:
- Casseroles – Mixing cream of mushroom soup with proteins, vegetables, and starch is a quick trick to making delicious casseroles.
- Gravies and Sauces – The velvety texture makes cream of mushroom an excellent base for gravies and sauces, especially for poultry and beef dishes.
- Pot Pies – Cream of mushroom is a comforting and familiar flavor for chicken, turkey, or beef pot pies.
- Vegetable Dishes – Creamy mushroom soup pairs well with green beans, broccoli, carrots, and other veggies.
- Dips – Blend with cream cheese or Greek yogurt for a creamy and rich dip for crunchy veggies or bread.
- Soups – Add broth and vegetables for a homemade spin on classic cream of mushroom soup.
The savory umami flavor of mushroom soup shines in all of these dishes. With some simple swaps and recipe adjustments, dairy-free eaters can still enjoy these versatile uses of cream of mushroom soup.
Storing and Reheating Cream of Mushroom Soup
Here are some quick tips for properly storing and reheating cream of mushroom soup:
- Unopened – Canned, shelf-stable soups can be stored in a cool, dry pantry for 1-2 years.
- Opened – Transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate up to 4-5 days.
- Frozen – Allow soup to cool before transferring to a freezer-safe container for up to 2-3 months.
- Stovetop – Heat gently in a saucepan on the stovetop, stirring frequently.
- Microwave – Reheat in microwave at 50% power, stirring every 30 seconds to prevent boiling over.
- Smooth Texture – Add a splash of milk or cream when reheating to restore smooth, creamy texture.
Properly stored, both dairy and non-dairy mushroom soups can be enjoyed for several days after opening. Low, gentle heat helps preserve the velvety texture when reheating.
Checking ingredients carefully is the only way to determine if a particular Campbell’s cream of mushroom soup contains dairy components like milk, butter, and cream. Some varieties are dairy-based while a select few are formulated to be dairy-free. With appropriate substitutions and adjustments, cream of mushroom soup can be enjoyed by those avoiding dairy for health or personal reasons. Look for the dairy-free label or make your own to ensure you can savor this versatile and delicious soup regardless of dietary needs.