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BackstoryThe part of me that loves to cook from scratch (though I'm a little cheap and lazy) dislikes the idea of cooking with cans of soup. It's not any cheaper and only barely faster. So here's a substitute that's cost-efficient and easy. I learned this from a great cookbook called "The More With Less Cookbook."
Just make a 5-minute white sauce with a few ingredients and a wire whisk. You can change the flavor infinitely with different herbs, seasonings, cheeses, broths and vegetables.
- Basic White Sauce
- For a thin sauce, use the first #amount, for Medium the 2nd, for Medium-Thick the third, and for Thick the 4th. Does that make sense?
- Melt in heavy saucepan:
- butter/margarine 1T for thin 2T for medium 3T for medium-thick 4T for thick
- Blend in, cooking and stirring until bubby:
- flour 1T for thin 2T for medium 3T for medium-thick 4T for thick
- salt 1/4 tsp (no matter what consistency)
- Using a wire whisk to prevent lumps, stir in
- milk, stock, or combination 1 cup (no matter which consistency)
- Cook just until smooth and thickened. Makes slightly over 1 cup. Medium-thick compares to undiluted condensed soups and makes approx. the same amount contained in one 10-oz can.
- Cheese Sauce: add 1/2 c. grated nippy cheese and 1/4 tsp dry mustard
- Tomato Sauce: use tomato juice as liquid, add dash each of garlic salt, onion salt, basil, oregano
- Mushroom sauce: saute 1/4 c. chopped mushrooms and 1 T finely chopped onion in margarine before adding flour
- Chicken Sauce: use chicken broth or buillon as half the liquid. Add 1/4 t. poultry seasoning or sage and diced cooked chicken, if available.
- Vary flavor with the following (or whatever you can think of):
- curry powder
- garlic, onion, or celery salt
- sauted onions, celery or mushrooms
- grated nutmeg
- lemon juice
- worcestershire sauce
- chili powder
- chopped or blended vegetables
- chopped parsley
- chopped chives
- chopped hard-cooked eggs
- Sky's the limit!