I used to keep packages of Lipton's Dry Onion Soup/Dip in the pantry. I used it for making dips, hamburgers, meat loaf, roasted potatoes, quick spaghetti sauce, slow cooker roast beef and many other recipes. For a long time, the original dry mix was gluten free. But Lipton changed their recipe and included a yeast extract from barley as an ingredient. Unilver, which makes Lipton products, states that it is made in a facility that processes milk, eggs, soy, wheat, sesame seeds and sulfites. That makes the Lipton's Dry Onion Soup/Dip Mix cross-contaminated from ingredients which can cause allergic reactions or intolerant gluten reactions. As stated on the back of the box, these are the ingredients:
The critical ingredients for the dry onion soup mix are dried minced onion, beef bouillon powder, onion powder, crushed celery seed and sugar. It can be made solely with those ingredients. There are many good Copycat recipes for Lipton's Dry Onion Soup/Dip mix but I thought something was lacking in them which hinted -- this is not Lipton's.
Of course, I'll just have to get over the corn syrup and caramel color which means it won't be as sweet and will be a lighter color. There is new research on caramel coloring but still not conclusive that it causes cancer in humans. The disodium inosinate and disodium guanylate are for savory and meaty flavor. Those can be replaced with powdered broth and spices. The sulfur dioxide is used for preservation and longer shelf-life. Since huge amounts are not being made by us, preservation will not be a problem.
So to the kitchen I went. Since my diet has to be gluten free, I started with gluten-free dehydrated diced onions. Herb Ox bouillon from Hormel Foods is gluten-free and gives the meaty flavor. (If you don't have to worry about the gluten, any dried bouillon brand you like will do as well as any brand of dehydrated onions.) The spices used to substitute for the flavorings are onion powder, celery salt, paprika, ground black pepper, parsley flakes and a small amount of turmeric for the earthy taste. The turmeric also adds color. The savory spices are garlic powder, cumin and Old Bay Seasoning. Corn syrup can be replaced with sugar or a sugar substitute of choice.
Linda's Version of Dried Onion Soup/Dip Mix
- 1 ½ cups dried minced onion (gluten-free if needed)
- ⅔ cup beef bouillon powder (gluten-free if needed)
- 2 ½ tablespoons onion powder
- 1 teaspoon celery salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar or the equivalent of a sugar substitute
- ¼ teaspoon paprika
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 3 teaspoons parsley flakes
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning