French Shallot Soup Recipe makes 4 servings.
This version of classic French onion soup is simple to prepare; though it takes a while, most is hands-off time. For the best flavor, don’t rush the soup, don’t skip the wine and cognac, and make your own beef stock from bones. You can mix any proportion of onions and shallots in this recipe. Shallots are milder than most onions, but they also have a garlicky note. If you’re not sure how much you like shallot flavor, a safe start would be to use half onions and half shallots. Here’s some helpful shallot math: 1 medium shallot weighs about a half-ounce and dices into approximately 1 tablespoon; 1 large shallot dices into about 2 tablespoons; and 1 pound of whole shallots yields about 4 cups diced.
2 batches caramelized shallots and/or onions (see Caramelized Shallots Recipe)
2 tsp unsalted butter
1 quart beef stock, at room temperature
1 cup red or white wine (optional)
1 to 2 tsp cognac per serving (optional)
4 thick slices day-old bread (traditionally baguette)
4 ounces Gruyère cheese, grated or cut into 4 thick slices
Melt the butter over medium-low heat in a deep pan, stockpot or Dutch oven. Add the caramelized shallots and stir to warm through. Add the stock and wine. Simmer for at least 20 minutes and up to 40 minutes. Near the end of cooking time, preheat oven broiler.
Divide the soup into 4 ovenproof bowls, and stir 1 to 2 teaspoons of cognac into each bowl. Gently float a slice of bread in each, then add the grated or sliced cheese atop the bread. Broil until golden and bubbly, about 3 to 5 minutes. Be sure to watch carefully to prevent burning.
Read more: Shallots add a mild flavor reminiscent of both garlic and onions. Learn how to cook with this great cooks’ secret ingredient in a variety of dishes in Cooking With Shallots: 3 Simple Shallot Recipes.
Photo By Tim Nauman Photography