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This $11 Freezer Find Is the One Appetizer You Should Buy at Costco This Holiday Season

published Nov 15, 2022
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Credit: Heather McClees

When throwing a dinner party, it’s easy to get swept up in the multicourse-ness of it all. And when it comes to dinner parties, Thanksgiving is arguably one of the biggest ones of the year — and it’s all about the food. 

If you happen to be one of those ethereal, sparkling hosting wizards, you probably already know that hosting is hard work (especially if you’re making it look easy!). When I was reading a hostess guide book from 1952, for example (there are so many!), I learned that to be a good hostess, everything has to be homemade, everything has to be perfect, and your dress has to have an a-line silhouette. Luckily today’s standards have changed: Wearing pants is now an option, and hosting doesn’t mean making everything from scratch. In fact, smart hosts know when to take clever shortcuts so they can spend quality time with their guests.

As every good host knows, you never know when or where inspiration will strike. For me it was in the aisles of Costco that I stumbled upon a clever shortcut — in the freezer, betwixt boxes of 72-count toaster waffles and giant six-pound sacks of Italian meatballs. Cuisine Adventures French Onion Soup immediately caught my attention, for two main reasons.

Credit: Laura Manzano

What’s So Great About Cuisine Adventures French Onion Soup?

First, French onion soup calls for a ton of onions. While onions aren’t expensive, there’s a lot of labor involved in halving, peeling, and slicing 10, 12, 50, or one billion onions (I don’t know how much soup you make). Second, a good French onion soup takes time: Letting broth, a bit of wine, some herbs, and all of those onions become friends in the pot can take at least a few hours. At only $10.99 for six portions, this Costco version is nearly cheaper (in some cases, literally cheaper!) than buying all the ingredients to make it yourself.

Credit: Laura Manzano

I don’t know about you, but I prefer hanging out with people over onions. So I imagine for Thanksgiving, or your birthday, or any celebration where you’re having people over, this frozen French onion soup would make the perfect hands-off first course. I was delighted to find that this soup came packaged in individual, vacuum-sealed cylindrical portions, perfect for placing in a bowl and microwaving, which is one of the preparation methods listed on the box.

Credit: Laura Manzano

I was also pleasantly surprised by the flavor of the soup — hearty and savory, with slight sweetness from the onions. Unsurprisingly, however, the croutons placed on top didn’t really get crispy in the microwave (perhaps they would if you prepared this in the oven), but that was nothing some supplementary toast couldn’t fix. 

If You’re Going to Make Cuisine Adventures French Onion Soup, a Few Tips

  • Thicken it up. This soup is a little on the thinner side. If you prefer your soup a bit thicker, whisk in a cornstarch slurry.  
  • Dress it up a little. Sprinkle extra Gruyère or Parm on top after serving for a rich, creamy finish. And for some spice and earthiness to complement the sweetness of the onions, finish with a few grinds of fresh black pepper.
  • Add bread. While you’re raking in big savings on the soup itself, feel free to splurge a little on some nice, crusty bakery bread. If possible, get a whole, unsliced loaf, and slice it at home yourself. You can cut some thick, rustic slices this way, and take it even further by toasting them in a small skillet with some butter. 

What holiday shortcuts are you buying at Costco this year? Tell us in the comments.