For some, football season is prime chips-and-dip season. For me, every season is chips-and-dip season. Because there is no time like the present to revive an old favorite, I’ve decided to revamp a once famous but now somewhat neglected dip from my childhood: onion soup dip.
The classic onion soup dip recipe that I recall from my, er, more youthful days, involved folding a packet of dried soup mix into a container of sour cream. It was served with chips or vegetables and had all of the factors that make a snack near impossible to stop eating: a creamy texture, sweet and salty flavors from the onion soup mix…and a cocktail of chemicals and preservatives (like MSG) that created the ultimate flavor bomb.
My new take on this iconic dip was inspired by a version I saw on the Food Network by Alton Brown. I loved that it’s simple and cheap, perfect for when you’re short on time but need to bring a contribution to a party….and stopping at the grocery store to buy a dip that you can pass off as your own just isn’t an option. I’ve made this dip a touch healthier by using Greek yogurt in place of the sour cream and real onions and fresh herbs in place of the…well, more questionable ingredients that you’ll find in the store-bought dip.
The ingredient list on this is short, but there is one time consuming step, which is caramelizing onions. Caramelizing onions, or slowly cooking them in olive oil until they are browned, pulls sweetness and flavor out of one of the simplest ingredients. Here’s a quick science lesson: onions are naturally sweet and caramel comes from cooking sugar. Therefore, when you cook onions slowly over a longer period of time, the natural sugars in the onions caramelize, resulting in a wonderfully sweet and savory flavor. Give yourself about a half an hour to caramelize onions, but we have a pro tip: if you stir with one hand and drink your favorite grown up beverage with another, time will fly.
- 2 tablespoons olive or canola oil
- 1½ cups diced onions
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1½ cups Greek yogurt or sour cream
- ¾ cup olive oil mayonnaise
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon ground white pepper
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
- Heat olive or canola oil in a sauté pan over medium-high heat on the stove. After about a minute, add the onions and salt. Cook the onions until they have become soft and deeply browned, about 20 minutes.
- As soon as the onions start sticking to the pan, let them stick a little and brown, but then stir them before they burn. The trick is to let them cook enough so they brown, but not so much that they burn. If you find that some of your onions are burning while others are still cooking. lower the stove temperature and add more oil by the teaspoon.
- If your onions are still getting crispy, use a metal spatula to scrape the brown bits from the bottom of the pan, adding more flavor. As the onions cook down, you may find you need to scrape the pan every minute, instead of every few minutes.
- Once your onions have browned (but not burned!) remove them from heat and set aside to cool. Mix the rest of the ingredients in a medium bowl and once they cool, add the onions. Refrigerate and stir again before serving. Serve with your favorite chips or fresh vegetables.