1. Melt butter in a Dutch oven over medium heat; add onion and garlic, and cook, stirring often, 5 to 10 minutes or until golden.
2. Sprinkle onion mixture with flour, and stir until coated. Stir in bouillon cube and 3 cups water. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring often. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, stirring occasionally, 10 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, microwave potatoes according to package directions. (Do not add butter or milk.) Stir potatoes, milk, and pepper into onion mixture. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, 10 minutes or until thickened. Serve with desired toppings.
The Sandwich: Combine 1/4 cup mayonnaise; 2 Tbsp. reduced-fat refrigerated pesto sauce; and 1/3 lb. peeled, cooked, and chopped shrimp. Spoon onto 6 toasted French bread slices. Sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese. Bake at 400° for 10 minutes or until browned and bubbly.