today and thought of this thread:
Better-Than-Condensed-Soup White Sauce
makes about the same as one 10-oz. can
3 Tablespoons butter
3 Tablespoons unbleached flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk, stock or combination
Melt butter in heavy saucepan. Blend in the flour and salt, cooking until bubbly.
Stir in your choice of milk, stock or a combination of the two, using a wire whisk to prevent lumps. Cook until just smooth and thickened.
Optional flavors and add-ins (replacing various “cream of…” condensed soups):
add 1/2 cup grated cheese and 1/4 t. dry mustard
use tomato juice as liquid (instead of milk or stock); add a dash of each: garlic salt, dried onion, basil and oregano.
saute 1/4 cup chopped mushrooms and 1 T. finely chopped onion in the butter, before adding the flour.
saute 1/2 cup chopped celery and 1 T. finely chopped onion in the butter, before adding the flour.
use chicken broth/stock as half the liquid. Add 1/4 t. poultry seasoning or sage, and diced cooked chicken, if desired.
for other varied flavors, try:
curry powder, garlic/onion/celery salt, grated nutmeg, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, chili powder, chopped or blended vegetables, chopped parsley, chopped chives, chopped hard-cooked eggs.