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1. Baked Fish Fillets

Haddock or sole work best. Lay the frozen fillets in 1/8 inch of water and base with Cream Asparagus Soup, a sprinkling of parsley, salt and pepper. If you have it, 1/2 cup of sherry with the water works flavor wonders. Bake at 350 degrees according to box directions or thirty minutes for fresh filletsWhen done, slip the fillets to a hot plate, thicken your sauce (see below)and keep it as a side offering. . Sprinkle with diced parsley or fresh chive cuttings. If you have a garden, garnish with the beautiful mauve chive flower.

2. Beef Stroganoff

This meal is pretty common so let's jazz it up. Forget the Mushroom Soup in your usual recipe. Instead, use Cream of Celery, and put in butter-sauteed mushroom pieces and 1/4 diced cooking onion. Don't forget the sour cream, folded into the sauce judt before you serve it. New and subtle flavors are the name of the game, you can use the traditional noodles, and bring out the candlelight for this one.

3. Cheap cut pork chops

Fry these and you can't cut them, same thing if you broil them. Trim off obvious fat, leave the bones in for flavor. Layer chops into a deep casserole with mushroom soup on the bottom, more soup plus garlic, salt and pepper, another layer the same until the casserole is within 1/2 inch from the top, usually three layers. Bake for three 3 hours at 300 degrees and you can cut them with a fork. The sauce is a bonus for no-hassle gravy. Great on mashies or rice, plus your grand-dad will probably want bread and gravy to finish up his dinner. Don't forget, you can add diced sweet peppers to this and it works even better.

4. So what do you do to make mashed potatoes more than they are, a white glob of great nutrition? Take your mashed spuds and whip in a can of Cheddar Cheese Soup, toss in a pinch of garlic powder, and put the result into buttered deep dish pie plates or shallow casseroles. Bake at 350 degrees until the top browns. The oven bakes off the liquid, so watch the operation. By the way, the cheddar flavor is subtle, the color is great, and with a sprinkling of Romano cheese and dried parsley on top, your guests will be agog when you pull it from the oven.

5. Your beef stew is a nutritionist's ideal, but it's bland. How do you get some familiar rich beef flavor? Add a can of Beef and Barley Soup to the stew in your slow cooker for the last hour or so of cooking. In a gallon of stew the barley loses itself, the beef flavor prevails. This beats the little cubes and packets of powder, which are mostly salt, and adds an authentic taste. Color, flavor, some thickening, and your stew is suddenly gourmet.

The less popular soups are often the ones the producers seem to work hardest to perfect. Don't ignore them because they can add exciting flavors to your cooking.