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Oct 30, 2011 04:19 PM

Your favorite soup & sauce mixes (powder)

Hi all,

I sometimes find myself using gravy sauce powder mixes to increase the volume of "au jus" (I know, it's a contradiction) from meat roasts, pan fries, etc. As for soup mixes, I tend to use them creatively by taking "cream of [blank]" mixes, add less than the recommended volume of liquid, and use them as thick sauces, for example, a mix of cauliflower/broccoli/carrots/brussel sprouts. In essence, a lot of doctoring and frankensteining ;-)

I use Knorr mixes almost all the time and really haven't bothered researching other brands as I'm very happy with Knorr. But I'm wondering if you CH-ers have any good ones to share, in case I'm missing out on something.


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  1. If Indian soup mixes are in consideration - I like MTR brand's sambar powder (the sambar paste is also quite good). These aren't meant to be "instant" - you have to use it with cooked lentils, etc....but are actually pretty versatile as a "secret ingredient" when used sparingly.

    Also have a look at localized versions of Knorr - eg Latin American ones that you can get at places like Los Guerreros, Killarney Market or El Sureno. (eg: Sazon for Pibil, Mole, etc). While you are at any one of these places, have a look at the other mixes and cubes from other manufacturers too.

    Certain Asian stores (can't remember which ones off the top of my head) also carry localized Knorr.

    6 Replies
    1. re: fmed

      Knorr, Oxo, Skippy and a number of other brands have been "assimilated" by Unilever foods in the past 5/10 years.
      Packaging, content and taste reduction from the original - in return for more profit.
      I now avoid anything made/controlled by Unilever.
      /end "uni-food" rant.
      "Better-Than-Bouillon" ..pasty stuff, but a bit pricey, or dry/cube " Aurora" from Italian grocers is my alternate to homemade stock.

      1. re: gnashingshitfactory

        +1 for Better then Bouillon - it is a cut above cubes and powders. I rarely used it these days. And I know what you mean about the Knorr products.

        1. re: fmed

          The Better than Bouillon vegetable base is the nicest one I've found, also available in a reduced sodium version (blue label) but you have to read carefully to avoid buying the organic version which is really pricey. It's very nice to use as it is already "wet" and dissolves easily. Has to be refrigerated though.

          1. re: grayelf

            Another fan of Better than Bullion vegetable base here (reduced salt version - it's still plenty salty). Tastier than the tetra pack brands and much better value with the ~$6 jar making 19L(I buy mine at Costco).

            1. re: grayelf

              saw the chicken BTB at Costco, anyone tried it ? is it as good as the veg, or any good at all?

              1. re: vandan

                I've tried the beef one, and that's good. Haven't tried the chicken, nor any of their gravy mixes.

      2. Thanks for all the suggestions, everyone !

        Do you guys also endorse their Better Than Gravy offerings:

        1. I like sauce mixes from Wagner's--the Mornay and the Chipotle. Fairly low calorie and tasty--good for a quick meal in a pinch with chicken tenders, rotini, and broccoli florets. Unfortunately, I just moved and haven't located a new source, but will order on-line. Also just tried the Lawry's marsala sauce mix for chicken and mushrooms. Served with rice. Nice quick meal. I'm retired now and usually make sauces from scratch but sometimes arthritis and scheduling call for a quick fix at dinner time!