Make Ahead

Silky Shallot Soup with Crispy Pancetta

February 19, 2010
2 Ratings
  • Serves 4-6
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

What You'll Need
  • 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.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • pierino
  • TheWimpyVegetarian
  • AntoniaJames
  • aargersi
  • AmyW
I'm a self-trained home cook and freelance food writer who enjoys cooking and eating seasonally and locally whenever possible. When I travel, visiting the farmers' markets, local groceries and specialty food shops is as important as the shopping, museums and restaurants. I love to immerse myself in cookbooks, then go into the kitchen and experiment; and writing about food and the chefs who cook it is my latest pursuit. By day, I'm an executive speechwriter and event planner.

7 Reviews

pierino February 20, 2010
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.
mariaraynal February 28, 2010
I use really big shallots -- goes faster and they seem to peel more easily.
TheWimpyVegetarian February 19, 2010
This looks wonderful! I'm definitely trying this one!
AntoniaJames February 19, 2010
Perfectly lovely! Oh, I am definitely going to try this one. ;o)
aargersi February 19, 2010
This sounds so good - LOVE the pancetta and shallots on top, too!
AmyW February 19, 2010
I can't wait to make this!
Kelsey B. February 19, 2010
I love the flavors of shallots and pancetta - what a great combination for a winter soup!!!