“I feel that way about a lot of food. I like things that would make food sophisticates immediately cross me off their lists. California Dip, for example. At least once or twice during football season, I like to mix up a bowl of dip made with Lipton onion soup mix and serve it with a bag of rippled chips. And I sometimes like to put a bowl out at a casual cocktail party (yes, ex-drunks can throw cocktail parties). Try it once. You will be amazed when it is one of the first things to go.”
Spoon Fed: How Eight Cooks Saved My Life, Kim Severson
An American friend recently introduced me to the naughty delights of instant onion soup mix. She produced her packet with a triumphant flourish. “You’ll thank me!” she announced triumphantly. And indeed I did.
I often get back from work late. Then, either hoards descend (perhaps it’s a Friday and the family is back for the weekend), or there is the Saucy Dressings’ Chief Taster needing something to keep hunger pangs at bay whilst waiting for supper to be ready (see Is your beloved a wild animal?).
Either way, the urgent need is something quick to serve with drinks.
The idea is that you mix some 240ml/1 cup thick Greek yoghurt (or a mix of yoghurt and mayonnaise, or sour cream) with about three tablespoons of the soup mix (try two first, then add more to taste) and Bob’s Your Uncle so to speak.
You serve it, obviously, with whatever is to hand in terms of celery, baby carrots, breadsticks, crisps, tortilla chips….. it’s very good with middle eastern sesame crackers.
There’s only one snag…. and that is that you can’t get onion soup mix on this side of The Pond (well, that’s not strictly speaking true…Amazon, as always, is your friend). So the thing to do is to make your own, which really isn’t that difficult, but which does have a better flavour.
An additional advantage of that is that you can make extra, package it up in a nice looking jar, offer to friends, and, in turn, gain your own moment of triumph!
Garnish with any fresh herbs you have to hand, or with some sweet, smoked paprika.
This mix is great for making dips…. It’s just not so good for making soup – that is always much better made fresh.
Recipe for onion soup mix
- 40g/1½ oz/¾ cup dried onion flakes
- 10g/3 tsps dried flat-leaved parsley (optional – but I think a very good addition)
- 2 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp celery seeds
- 2 generous tsps. chicken or beef stock powder (or vegetable stock powder if you are vegetarian). Or two stock cubes, but the break-up-able, dry type like OXO.
- 1 tsp golden caster sugar
- 1 tsp dried garlic
- 10 grinds Indonesian long pepper
Mix all together and store in a cool, dry, dark place.