I make no secret of the fact that I love soup. Hot, cold, thick and rich, or thin and delicate, I enjoy it all. Because my soup love is widely known, it came as a surprise to some that I had yet to taste the signature “Walkabout Soup” served at Outback Steakhouse, something that seems to wow people almost as much as does their Alice Springs Chicken. No sooner did I try it and, naturally, LOVE it, that I was in search of a copycat recipe. No surprise there, I found one. Also no surprise to those of you who know me and my need to tinker with just about everything, I've made a few changes (improvements). The original recipe called for yellow onions. I tend to find that when making a dish where onions are the star that a combination of types yield a richer, more complex taste, so I've added a variety and increased, ever so slightly, the amount of probably-bad-for-you-but-oh-so-delicious Velveeta cheese. Try theirs and then try mine, and let me know what you think.
Outback Steakhouse Walkabout Soup
1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
1 large leek, cleaned and thinly sliced
3 tablespoons butter
1 can (14.5-15 ounce) chicken broth
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 teaspoons chicken soup base
1/3 cup diced Velveeta cubes (compressed in measuring cup)
1 recipe white sauce (see below)
THICK WHITE SAUCE:
3 tablespoon butter
3 tablespoon flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 and 1/2 cups whole milk
Melt better in 2-quart saucepan. Add sliced onions and leeks. Cook at medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until soft and clear but not brown. Add chicken broth, chicken soup base, salt, and pepper and stir until warmed through. Add white sauce and Velveeta cheese. Simmer on medium-low heat until the cheese is melted and all ingredients are blended, stirring constantly. Turn temperature to low and simmer for an additional 30-40 minutes.
Thick White Sauce:
In a 1-quart saucepan, melt butter. Stir in flour, and cook on medium heat until the flour turns thick and comes away from the side of the saucepan. Slowly pour milk into flour, stirring 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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