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Dec 6, 2007 09:55 PM

Lipton Onion Soup Mix: Natural Replacement?

I have a number of 'White-trash' family recipes... most notably my mom's brisket, which is about the best thing you will ever taste... that use Lipton's Onion Soup Mix. I keep using it, but would love to find a natural, less chemical way of creating the same taste.

Does anyone have a solution?

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  1. There is not a thing "white trash" or "chemical" about it. It's no different than if you bought dried onion or onion powder at Penzey's and mixed it with beef base or beef bouillion to make your own mix, or bought some of the "gourmet" mixes at chi-chi kitchen shops in fancy containers. It's a convenience product. Somebody else saved you the trouble of doing it yourself.
    Here's one of the many copycat recipes available in the internet or you could just use fresh onions and beef stock, sear the beef to intensify the flavor and get a good brisket.

    3 Replies
    1. re: MakingSense

      I don't want to get into the whole MSG thing, but I think Lipton mix has MSG. Knorr does for sure, and I thought they combined recently.

      Randomly, ALDI grocery store onion soup mix does not contain MSG.

      Tom - try simply organic. I don't see a soup mix per se, but they have a dip mix. No idea what's diff ->

      or if you're lucky you can get this in bulk (I can get it across the street at a normal grocery, but you may have to head to a coop?) ->

      1. re: reannd

        And you won't get the same taste profile without a product that includes glutamate/umami, a flavor that has been around for centuries. MSG is simply the most convenient way to do it. One will notice the absence if one is looking to replicate a flavor.

        1. re: Karl S

          If people don't want to go the easy way with onion soup mix (MSG, Accent or whatever) - store bought or homemade - they can add a touch of tomato, tomato paste (barely noticeable), some mushrooms or the liquid that they've saved from soaking porcinis in. All of those and a few other things have naturally occurring free glutamate that give a similar umami that you're just going to miss out on if you leave out the product that your mother used.
          You have to choose between replicating a flavor or working to make it your own in a different way.

    2. I'd go with the beef stock and onions approach recommended by MakingSense, myself. :)

      3 Replies
      1. re: Morganna

        I make California Dip using Tone's Beef Base, dried onion flakes and sour cream.
        It tastes better than using Lipton Onion Soup Mix and is cheaper too. I use about 1/2 tsp of beef base, 1 Tbs of dried onion flakes to 1 cup of sour cream (or yogurt).

        1. re: Antilope

          Oh this is a clever idea. Never thought of using my base for this!

          1. re: Antilope

            yes ! onion powder + garlic powder taste just fine.
            there is no reason to buy lipton !

        2. Caramelizing the onions will get you much closer to that flavour than using fresh onions.

          1. My mom made (delicious!) brisket w/ onion soup mix. Now that I'm an adult, I make it w/ caramalized onions. It's fab!
            I use the Gourmet/Epicurious recipe appropriately called My Mother's Brisket

            As my mother did, I remove the meat about an hour before it's done and slice -- it's hard to get good slices when it's fully cooked. At that point I like to add some sliced portabella mushrooms to the meat and cook till all is done.

            2 Replies
            1. re: NYchowcook

              If you have a Whole Foods, you might check and see if they have a suitable replacement product. I was looking for a replacement for the MSG, preservative laden chicken bouillon and found a product called Not Chick'n and it had none of the artificial stuff and only about 5-6 ingredients all of which were organic.

              1. re: NYchowcook

                The portabella mushrooms have naturally occurring free glutamate so you are in effect replacing the MSG. That makes them a good addition.

              2. Thanks everyone, lots of great info. I will combine all this for sure and give it a go. If I can come close to Mom's brisket, I'll switch over. If not, I guess the soup mix won't hurt me three times a year.