Silky Shallot Soup with Crispy Pancetta

By • February 19, 2010 • 7 Comments

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Author Notes: For the last few years, I have been engaged in a wonderful relationship with shallots. I've found their sweet, sophisticated flavor has improved my cooking immensely. This light-bodied soup contrasts their delicate essence with earthy rosemary and a touch of cream for a velvety texture. Top with pancetta and frizzled shallots for a burst of crispness. Serve as first course for beef or chicken dishes, or as a main course with the obligatory crisp green salad and crusty bread. mariaraynal

Serves 4-6

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 5 cups shallots, thinly sliced, plus a half cup
  • Salt, pepper and crushed red pepper, to taste
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tablespoon rosemary, minced
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 20 ounces good quality chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 5 1/2 inch slices pancetta, cubed
  1. Heat olive oil and butter in a large soup pot over medium, add 5 cups shallots, sweat until soft for several minutes.
  2. Add salt, pepper, crushed red pepper and bay leaf. Cook until golden and beginning to caramelize, stirring often, about 20 minutes. Add garlic and rosemary.
  3. After another five minutes or so, deglaze with wine and reduce. Add chicken stock and simmer for at least 10 minutes, longer if you have the time. Remove bay leaf.
  4. Meantime, saute pancetta in a stainless steel pan until crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Add remaining 1/2 cup shallots to pancetta fat and cook until crisp. Place on paper towels.
  5. Remove soup from heat and puree with an immersion blender or in a food processor. Stir in cream and serve, topped with pancetta and frizzled shallots.
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Tags: Appetizers, Entrees, savory

Comments (7) Questions (0)


about 5 years ago pierino

pierino is a trusted source on General Cooking and Tough Love.

Who do you assign peeling shallots to? Five cups? Your kitchen comes with its own commis, right? I love shallots, use them all the time, but its one the most arduous jobs you can take on even if it sounds menial.


about 5 years ago mariaraynal

I use really big shallots -- goes faster and they seem to peel more easily.


about 5 years ago TheWimpyVegetarian

This looks wonderful! I'm definitely trying this one!


about 5 years ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Perfectly lovely! Oh, I am definitely going to try this one. ;o)


about 5 years ago aargersi

Abbie is a trusted source on General Cooking.

This sounds so good - LOVE the pancetta and shallots on top, too!


about 5 years ago AmyW

I can't wait to make this!


about 5 years ago KelseyTheNaptimeChef

I love the flavors of shallots and pancetta - what a great combination for a winter soup!!!