Winter Market Shallot and Arugula Soup

My winter farm market had the largest shallots I’d ever seen in my life, as big as an onion; I knew I had to make something special.

 The staples at our Winter CSA are reliable, and I am extremely grateful that all season long and well into spring, I can purchase organic, colorful potatoes, carrots, parsnips, beets, turnips, rutabagas, radishes, onions of different varieties, shallots, freshly grown greens, eggs, cheese, and a selection of frozen goods grown at the family farm just down the road from me, Harlow Farm.

What???

That being said, it takes a lot to surprise me this time of year when I stop at the stand, but this week I reached for shallots for a recipe and thought they had gotten mixed up with the onions! They were so large, they compared to the red onions in the basket above them. Usually, shallots are tiny, and tedious to mince. Not these monsters!

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Shallot is on the left, onion on the right.

Immediately, my mind began to wander, as I looked around and thought about what else I could make with these marvels! I love making dishes entirely from our local market (except for spices and oils of course). Soup came to mind! It was a cold day, and I had planned to make some soup for lunches anyway, so it was a natural.

Pick and choose

There was celeriac, of course, a root with a great celery flavor, and some rainbow carrots. I chose the pale yellow carrots for this dish. Garlic, of course, and a potato to give some body to the soup.

Arugula. Spicy, green, refreshing arugula. I’ve used it in soups before, and it just begged to be tossed into the soup at the last. A nod to the coming green of spring.

An unusual soup base

If you don’t have the benefit of monster shallots, use what ever size you can find. The two I used in this recipe together weighed a whopping 12 1/2 ounces or 350 grams, and measured about three cups!

The soup comes together and cooks quickly, and while it simmered, I made a crunchy shallot topping to garnish. After tasting, I think it is essential to the soup! Everyone has liked it, including my seven-year-old granddaughter who was visiting over February break and asked me to make a batch for her to bring home!

This one’s for you Susan Harlow!

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Winter Market Shallot and Arugula Soup

Makes about six cups

  • 2 tbsp. fruity olive oil
  • 2 monster shallot bulbs, diced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1 small celeriac bulb, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. thyme
  • ½ tsp. tarragon
  • ¼ tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 potato, diced
  • 2 bay leaves, fresh if possible
  • 1 quart water
  • 6 ounces baby arugula
  • 1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar

Topping:

  • 1 cup shallots, sliced thinly
  • olive oil to cover
  • S&P

In a saucepan over high, heat the olive oil and add the shallots, carrot, and celeriac. Turn down the heat to medium-high and continue sautéing until the vegetables have softened.

Add the garlic, pepper, salt, thyme, tarragon, cinnamon and continue cooking another couple of minutes, until the spices and garlic have bloomed.

Add the potato, bay leaves, and water.

Bring to a boil, cover, reduce to a simmer and cook for about a half hour. The potato will be nice and soft. While cooking, make the crispy shallots, below.

Using an immersion blender, regular blender, food processor, or masher, blend the soup, leaving just a bit of texture.

Add the arugula and cider vinegar. You don’t need to return to the heat, it will wilt on its own. Blend just a little so that the arugula is not stringy when you eat it, but still mostly in tact.

Garnish with crispy shallots.

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Crispy Shallots

To make the shallots, cut up a half to full cup of shallots and place in cold oil to cover. Bring to a simmer and cook about 15 minutes, or until nice and brown.

Remove to a towel and immediately sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Save the oil! It will be delightfully infused with the shallot flavor!

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24 Comments Add yours

  1. Sounds delicious. Can’t wait to try!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for saying so!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You are welcome, Dorothy! 💕☕️☕️

        Liked by 1 person

  2. sherry says:

    i love french shallots! and wow they are huge. always a bit tedious to peel and chop, aren’t they?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. They are! And it is hard to maneuver them to mince them evenly, so I got so excited when I found these. They were still beautifully sweet!

      Like

  3. Danielle Benson says:

    Looks delicious! I love shallots.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Angela says:

    This sounds fabulous, Dorothy. I never would have come up with anything like it. I have noticed much larger shallots in our supermarket lately, and at the farmer’s market last season. Possibly a new variety…

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I suspect you are right about the new variety Angela! I will ask Farmer Dan when I see him and let everyone know!

    Like

  6. Crazy-looking GOOD! 👁👁🍃

    Liked by 1 person

  7. JOY journal says:

    Ooo. I know I would like this. I did not know how to crisp up shallots and onions like that. I will have to try this trick at home!! Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Starting in cold oil is the trick!

      Like

  8. Can I please come to lunch?? Looks insanely divine!!
    Jenna

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Looks fabulous, Dorothy! I love the fried shallots on top!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. They really make the soup special Jennifer!

      Like

  10. This reminds me I should really get a winter CSA next year!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love mine! Each year, they add more and more produce, lots of greens too!

      Like

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