Shallot and garlic soup

Matt Tebbutt uses easy-peeling banana shallots for this surprisingly mellow soup topped with crispy fried onion rings
By Matt Tebbutt
Shallot and garlic soup
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Effort: easy

Ingredients

For the soup

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 50 g butter
  • 3 large banana shallots, diced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 1 whole garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 2 large baking potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 litres chicken stock, or vegetable stock
  • 200 ml double cream

To serve

  • 1 large banana shallot, cut into fine rings
  • 1 tbsp cornflour, for dusting
  • 250 ml vegetable oil, for deep-frying
  • warm, crusty bread

Tips and Suggestions

Shallots have great shelf life. Stored in a cool, dark, dry place with good air circulation they will keep for several weeks.

Method

1. Heat the olive oil and 40g of the butter in a large saucepan. Add the shallots, bay leaves and most of the thyme and sweat for about 10 minutes or until the shallots are soft but not coloured.

2. Stir in the garlic, cover and cook gently for another 10 minutes, checking and stirring from time to time to prevent burning. Add the potatoes and continue cooking for another 5 minutes, stirring often.

3. Pour in the stock and bring to the boil. Simmer for 20 minutes or until all the ingredients are soft. Add the cream and return the soup to the boil before removing it from the heat.

4. Meanwhile, prepare the garnish. Cover the fine rings of shallot with salt and leave for 10 minutes. Rinse away the salt the pat the shallot rings dry with kitchen paper or a tea towel. Dust the rings with the cornflour. Heat the vegetable oil in a heavy-based saucepan and, once hot, fry the rings until golden and crisp. Drain on kitchen paper.

5. Blend the soup until smooth, adding the remaining butter. Push it through a fine sieve and then taste and adjust the seasoning as necessary.

6. Pour the soup into warmed bowls and top each with a small handful of crispy shallots. Sprinkle with the last of the thyme then serve with lots of warm crusty bread and a rich red wine.

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