Recipe Finder: Copycat Outback Steakhouse creamy onion soup

Nell Evans of Aberdeen, Maryland, was looking for the recipe for the onion soup served at Outback Steakhouse. He said the last time he ate there he was told the restaurant was not going to have the soup anymore. He was hoping someone would have the recipe so that he could make it for himself at home.

Susan Fees of Port Carbon, Pennsylvania, sent in a recipe for Outback Steakhouse walkabout soup that she thinks may be the one Evans is looking for. She said it comes from a book she has that features popular copycat recipes from many chain restaurants. Even though this is not called onion soup, onions are the main ingredient.

This recipe is for a creamy onion soup, not a traditional French-style onion soup with cheese on top. The walkabout soup is quick and easy to prepare with only a few simple ingredients. I would highly recommend using low-sodium chicken broth and bouillon so the soup does not taste overly salty. You can always add some salt at the end if need be. Low-fat milk can be substituted for the whole milk with little taste difference. I also think almost any melting cheese could be used in place of the Velveeta if you prefer.

This recipe makes four small servings, perfect for a first course, or it can easily be doubled and served as a main course along with a salad for a hearty lunch. I suspect that Outback will put this popular soup back on their menu in the fall or winter — but until then, if, like Evans, you are craving a bowl of warm comfort food, go ahead and give this a try at home.

OUTBACK STEAKHOUSE WALKABOUT SOUP

Makes 4 servings

3 Tbsp. butter

2 cups thinly sliced yellow sweet onions

1 can (14.5-15 ounces) chicken broth

2 chicken bouillon cubes

1/4 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. fresh ground pepper

1 1/2 to 1 3/4 cups white sauce (recipe below)

1/4 cup diced Velveeta cubes (compressed in measuring cup)

Shredded cheddar cheese, for garnish

Thick white sauce

3 Tbsp. butter

3 Tbsp. flour

1/4 tsp. salt

1 1/2 cups whole milk

Place butter and sliced onions in a 2-quart saucepan. Cook at low to medium heat, stirring frequently, until soft and clear but not brown. Add chicken broth, chicken bouillon cubes, salt and pepper and stir until completely heated through. Add white sauce (directions below) and Velveeta cheese. White sauce will be thick because it has been removed from the heat. Simmer on medium-low heat until the cheese is melted and all ingredients are blended, stirring constantly. Turn temperature to warm and let cook for additional 30-45 minutes.

Serve with a garnish of shredded cheddar cheese and a couple of slices of warm, dark Russian bread.

For the white sauce, melt butter in a 1-quart saucepan and add flour. Cook on medium heat until the flour turns thick and comes away from the side of the saucepan. Pour milk into flour a little at a time and stir constantly; add salt. Mixture should thicken and become like thick pudding. Remember to stir constantly, taking care not to let mixture lump. Remove from heat and set aside until ready to use for the soup.

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