Here is a delicious alternative to the famous and popular French Onion Soup. Some years ago, I had a request from a reader to please publish the Outback Steakhouse recipe for Walkabout Soup. He was told by the server that if they told him how it was made they would ‘have to kill him.’
I assured him not to worry. Also, although most recipes (including the Walkabout Soup) at the Outback Steakhouse restaurants are corporate owned and considered signature recipes and not to be given out, I had a fun cookbook called Top Secret Restaurant Recipes by Todd Wilbur (Pilgrim Group, 1997). Mr. Wilbur goes about creating clones from many favorite restaurant chains, including the Walkabout Soup.
After making some changes of my own, particularly in the seasoning and procedure, the Creamy Onion Soup recipe you will find here is the delicious result and a very close clone to the original with no fear of retribution.
- 8 cups water
- 3 tablespoons Superior Touch Better Than Bouillon Beef Base*
- 3 medium white onions
- ¾ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup heavy cream
- Salt and white pepper, to taste
- 1¼ cups shredded Cheddar cheese
- ¼ cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
In a large saucepan, bring the water to a boil over medium-high heat. Stir in the Beef Base until dissolved.
Peel and cut the onions into thin slices, then cut the slices into quarters and add to the liquid. Bring the mixture back to the boil. Lower the heat to medium-low and let simmer, uncovered for about an hour. Stir a time or two.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour and heavy cream until very smooth. While stirring, slowly add the flour/cream mixture to the onion mixture. Continue stirring until thickened, then continue to simmer, stirring occasionally for an additional 15 minutes. Season to taste.
Add one cup of the Cheddar cheese and stir for another 3-4 minutes, or until the cheese is completely melted.
Serve the soup hot with a sprinkling of about a tablespoon each of the remaining Cheddar cheese and Monterey Jack on top. Makes four servings.
*Available in most supermarkets alongside the bouillon cubes and granules.
Did You Know?
Someone once asked why a dish she had in one restaurant was called Salmon Paillard, and a few nights later she ordered what seemed identical in another restaurant called Salmon Carpaccio. And for everyone’s information, the difference is in name only.
Both were originally meant to describe a thin, pounded piece of beef. Now it can mean just about any meat, poultry or seafood pounded thin and served with a suitable sauce.
The Larousse Gastronomique says the Paillard was invented by a 19th Century Parisian restaurateur with the same name. The Carpaccio was created for its color (red, raw beef with a strip of white sauce – like mayonnaise) back in the mid-1950’s and named for a Venetian painter, Vittorio Carpaccio, who favored red and white on his canvasses. It was supposedly inspired by a Contessa Mocenigo whose doctor had forbidden her to eat cooked meat.
Today however, the names remain, and just about anything thinly sliced can be, in the words of a chef friend of mine, “paillarded” or “carpacciated”.
Resident Suzanne Jones is the author of “Readable, Doable and Delicious: Requested Recipes and Stories from the Past to the Present”. For a number of years, Suzanne wrote a weekly column in the South Florida Sun-Sentinel titled “You Asked For It”. For more information about her book, visit (www.past-presentrecipes.com).