Creamy onion soup has loads of tender sweet onions, swimming in a flavorful, blended cheese base. This soup is a soothing meal or side dish.
A few days ago, I was having the kind of day in which I struggled to get anything of value accomplished. My mind continuously swirling with all of the things that needed to be checked off my To Do List that day, but it was a day full of weird interruptions and a near constant need for Mom-as-Mediator with my boys. So much so, that I was hard pressed to get anything accomplished at all! I hate feeling simultaneously stressed with obligation and too scatter-brained to get anything done.
In between sibling arbitration, I opted to further procrastinate by browsing on Pinterest. Once there, I ran across an old for recipe for Walkabout Soup from CopyCat.com. I was so excited! Outback hasn’t featured that soup on the menu in years! (Stephanie Manly has developed hundreds of great, make-at-home versions of restaurant favorites. If you haven’t been by her site, you really should pay her a visit.)
One peek at the photo of the soup, and I was instantly transported back to my college days as a Server at Outback Steakhouse. A cup of that slightly sweet, creamy onion soup was pure comfort after a long shift of serving food to the masses. I honestly think that anyone whom enjoys eating at restaurants should spend some time waiting tables or working in a commercial kitchen–if for no other reason than to witness all of the work that goes into providing consistently good food for others. Restaurant hours are long, the jobs are physically exhausting, and the work is at times thankless, albeit rewarding. I must say that being a Server was the most fun that I’ve ever had on the job!
In retrospect, being a Server prepared me to cook for a house full of boys.
It was at Outback that I learned that although shallow soup/salad bowls are beautiful serving vessels, they are very unforgiving when dropped. Knowing this valuable tidbit of information, my newlywed-self went ahead and purchased everyday dishes that included shallow soup bowls. Clearly, I was not thinking about a future family nor what would happen when little boy fingers slipped while carrying lunch to the table. It happens.
For the second time that day, I was whisked away to the kitchen at Outback–this time smirking at the memory of dozens of shallow bowls that met their untimely demise as I attempted to balance them on my arm, en route to the dining room–at least half of which were full of steaming Walkabout Soup.
The flashbacks were enough to convince me that I was supposed to make the soup for dinner that night. After cleaning up the latest mess, I hopped back online in search of the recipe. Once found, I discovered that while the recipe looked lovely, the ingredients weren’t quite right. Outback prides itself on making everything from scratch, so I knew that recipe wasn’t the soup that I’d watched the cooks make hundreds of times before. Lucky for me, my Garden Chowder recipe was loosely based on my memories of Walkabout Soup. I was able to reverse-engineer that recipe to coincide with memories made while helping chop onions alongside the soup chefs as they prepared the Walkabout Soup.
Creamy Onion Soup is my close approximation to Outback’s Walkabout Soup.
It’s a creamy, slightly sweet onion soup that’s just as soothing after a long day.
Loads of tender sweet onions are swimming in a flavorful, blended cheese base to make this soup a soothing meal or side dish.
15 minPrep Time
15 minCook Time
30 minTotal Time
- ¼ C. unsalted butter
- 3 small Vidalia onions, peeled, halved, and thinly sliced (about 3 ½ cups of ¼-inch thick slices)
- 3 C. chicken stock
- 2 tsp. Worcestshire sauce
- ¼ tsp. dried thyme
- ½ tsp. kosher salt
- ¼ tsp. black pepper
- ½ C. all-purpose flour
- 2 C. 2% milk
- ½ C. Four Cheese Italian Blend, shredded (a blend of Asiago, Romano, Fontina, and Parmesan)
- ½ C. sharp cheddar cheese, shredded and divided
- Melt the butter in a large Dutch oven (or stock pot) over medium heat until it begins to foam. Sprinkle the onions into the pot, separating them into individual half rings as you do so. Sauté the onions in the melted butter for about 5 minutes, or until they begin to soften. Stir the chicken stock, Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper, and thyme into the pot, and heat to boiling. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer until the onions are very tender but still have a little body to them. (About 2 minutes.)
- Stir the flour into the milk, until smooth. Pour milk mixture into the pot. Continue cooking over medium-low heat, stirring continuously, until the soup thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon. (Roughly 3 more minutes.)
- Remove from the soup from the heat, and sprinkle in the entire shredded Italian blend, and half (¼ cup) of the cheddar. Rapidly stir the soup until the cheese melts completely.
- Serve immediately sprinkled with the remaining cheddar cheese.
Creamy Onion Soup is thick, almost chowder-like in consistency. As such, I find leftovers best reheated on a stove top in order to achieve the same consistency as when it was fresh. Stirring the soup continuously while reheating will help keep it from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Reheating the soup in the microwave will leave it a bit on the chunky side.
Stephanie Manley says