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The 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.
  • Options:
  • 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!

Categories: Condiment, Sauce  Salsa 
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