One of the best frugal cooking ideas is to go with in-season foods. During the fall and winter, you can take advantage of lower priced veggies, such as winter squash and root vegetables. You can make soups, casseroles, pies and many other delicious dishes using seasonal finds and basic white sauce recipes.
Basic White Sauce Recipes
You can use a basic white sauce to thicken soups, stews, bisques, purees, and chowders. A white sauce can also add a layer of taste to your dish, especially when seasoned with your favorite spices and herbs. There are numberous white sauce recipes, but below is my favorite:
A white sauce can be used for any cream soup recipe, such as potato, tomato, broccoli, mushroom, cream of corn, etc. You can use it for stews, bisques, purees, and chowders.
- 1 tbs butter (Use unsalted if you wish to control salt.)
- 1 tb all purpose flour
- 1 cup milk (Whole milk is best. For a fuller-bodied and flavorful sauce substitute with evaporated milk.)
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp pepper (or to taste)
Melt the butter in a shallow saucepan over medium heat.
Add the flour and using a whisk, blend until the mixture is smooth.
Gradually, add the milk, stirring to blend thoroughly before adding more. Continue until all the milk is blended into the mixture.
Continue to stir until mixture begins to boil.
Reduce heat, continuing to stir to prevent it from burning and sticking to saucepan. Continue to cook for three minutes.
Add salt and pepper and stir into mixture.
Remove from range and add to soup or stew mixtures. Be sure to stir to thoroughly mix and allow the soup mixture and white sauce to come to a boil to ensure the soup is thickened. Remove from heat and ladle soup into bowls.
Hint 1: You don’t want the cream soup to form a top layer skin as it cools. To avoid this, gently whisk the soup prior to serving. This will create a slight frothing effect that will prevent the skin from forming on the surface of the soup. Hint 2: When adding as a binding to a soup, some pulp vegetables can separate from the soup stock. Add flour or cornstarch to thicken and bind.
Basic Cream Soup Recipe
A cream soup is a true comfort food. The thickness also aids the flavor. You make a basic cream soup to use with potato, tomato, broccoli, mushroom, cream of corn and many other cream soups.
A cream soup is a true comfort food. The thickness also aids the flavor. It can be used for any cream soup recipe, such as potato, tomato, broccoli, mushroom, cream of corn or squash. You can use it for stews, bisques, purees, and chowders.
- 4 cups of milk (You can use 2 cups milk and 2 cups condensed milk if prefer.)
- 2 tbs butter salted (Use unsalted if monitoring salt intake)
- 2 tbs All Purpose flour (Increase incrementally if making a puree or bisque.)
- 2 cups of vegetable pulp (same for fish or meat pulp)
- Season to taste with salt, pepper and other seasonings, such as parsley and garlic
Cook the pulp. This will be your choice of vegetable, meat or fish.
Once cooked, use a sieve to drain away the cooking liquid.
Using a potato mashes, began working it through the mixture to break down the cooked vegetable, meat or fish until you have created a pulp the consistency you desire.
You can use a sieve to mash the pulp through it to further breakdown the pulp.
You may prefer to place the mixture in a food processor or Ninja bullet to give it a few pulses.
If making a puree or bisque, you’ll want to process the pulp longer.
Season to taste and blend using a whisk and serve immediately.
Soup can be refrigerated and used for 2 to 3 days.
You can freeze the soup in freezer containers for quick hearty meals.
- Soup can be refrigerated and used for 2 to 3 days.
- You can freeze the soup in freezer containers for quick hearty meals..
Frugal Cream Soups and White Sauce Recipes
When you take advantage of seasonal vegetables and other foods, you can save money. A cream soup or white sauces will give your dishes an upgrade with depth of flavors and texture for a warm comfort food meal. Whether you make white sauce recipes from scratch above or go with something ready made, white sauce takes a meal from boring to amazing in mere minutes.