Basic Sauce for Cream Soup

8 oz. margarine
2 oz. finely chopped onion
12 oz. all-purpose flour
3 oz. chicken base
1/2 tsp. white pepper
2 qts. water
2 gal. hot milk

Melt margarine. Add onions and sauté until tender. Add flour, chicken base, and pepper to onions. Stir until blended. Cook for 5 minutes.

Add water and stir until mixture thickens. Add vegetables and seasonings as suggested in Variations to make a variety of cream soups.

Stir in milk. Heat to 180 degrees F.

Yield: 2 1/2 gallons – Serves Approx. 50

Chicken base may be omitted. Omit the water and use 2 1/2 gallons of milk. Add 2 ounces salt.

1/4 ounce (2 tablespoons) dehydrated onions, rehydrated in 1/4 cup water, may be used instead of fresh onions.

Reduced-fat milk can be substituted for whole milk. Reduced-fat milk is less stable (curdles more easily) than whole milk.

VARIATIONS:

To make 3 gallons of soup (50-60 1-cup, 8 ounce servings), use 1 recipe Basic Sauce for Cream Soup plus additions suggested below.

Cream of Asparagus Soup: Add 6 pounds cooked, chopped (or pureed) asparagus.

Cream of Broccoli Soup: Add 6 pounds cooked, chopped broccoli.

Cream of Cauliflower Soup: Increase onion to 1 pound 8 ounces and water to 1 gallon. Reduce milk to 1 1/2 gallons. Add 6 pounds cauliflower, cut into small florets, and 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce. Stir in 1 pound 8 ounces processed American cheese, shredded. Stir until melted. Sprinkle with chopped chives.

Cream of Celery Soup: Increase onion to 8 ounces. Add 2 pounds 8 ounces cooked chopped celery and 1 pound cooked diced carrots.

Cream of Mushroom Soup: Increase onion to 8 ounces. Add 3 pounds mushrooms, sliced or chopped, sautéed with the onion in margarine.

Cream of Potato Soup: Increase onion to 12 ounces. Add 8 pounds cooked diced potatoes and 1 pound cooked chopped celery. Increase chicken base to 5 ounces. Potatoes may be mashed or pureed if desired.

Cream of Spinach Soup: Increase onion to 8 ounces. Add 3 pounds chopped spinach, cooked.

Cream of Vegetable Soup: Increase onion to 1 pound. Add 1 pound cooked chopped celery, 1 pound 8 ounces cooked diced carrots, and 2 pounds cooked diced potatoes.

Mushroom Barley Soup: Reduce milk to 3 quarts and increase water to 1 3/4 gallon. Increase margarine to 1 pound, onion to 1 pound, and chicken base to 8 ounces. Add 3 pounds sliced mushrooms, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, and 1 pound barley after water has been added. Simmer about 30 minutes, then add milk slowly and heat to 180 degrees F. Sprinkle with chopped parsley.

Cooking for a Crowd

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