Creamy Onion, Leek, and Shallot Bisque

Creamy Onion, Leek, and Shallot Bisque
Staff Writer
Creamy Onion, Leek, and Shallot Bisque
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Creamy Onion, Leek, and Shallot Bisque

This is a soup for onion lovers. Caramelized onions, leeks, and shallots (or only onions if you prefer) are puréed with chicken stock and then combined with sherry, sautéed onion, and a splash of cream at the end. What makes it so delicious are the fried leeks—and the Gruyère crostini, a contemporary interpretation of the typical (and often too heavy) cheese topping on many onion soups. Pass any extras at the table. They’re yummy! — Soups for Two by Joanna Pruess

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2
Servings
1062
Calories Per Serving
Deliver Ingredients

Notes

The crunchy leek topping is a perfect use for the darker green parts of leeks—but not the very ends. For slicing leeks very thin, I love my OXO hand-held mandolin slicer, set on the narrowest setting, about 1/16 inch. You can also slice the leek by hand. The oil, once strained, may be reused for frying.

Ingredients

For the crunchy leek topping

  • Canola or other vegetable oil, for frying
  • ½ Cup well-rinsed and very thinly sliced darker green parts of leeks, reserved from the soup

For the soup

  • 2½ Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 medium onions, thinly sliced (3 cups)
  • 3 medium leeks, well washed, cut in half lengthwise and thinly sliced (1½ cups), sliced darker parts of the leeks reserved
  • 1 Cup thinly sliced shallots
  • ⅓ Cup medium sherry, such as Amontillado
  • 1 Teaspoon chopped fresh tarragon leaves
  • 2 Cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • ¼ Cup heavy or light cream
  • Coarse sea salt and white pepper
  • 4–6 thin slices French baguette, lightly toasted
  • 1 clove garlic, cut in half
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ Cup finely shredded Gruyère or Swiss cheese

Directions

For the crunchy leek topping

In a small, deep saucepan, pour in enough oil to measure 1 inch deep; heat over medium-high heat until the oil registers 350 degrees F on a deep-fat frying thermometer.

Set a small strainer over a large glass measuring cup. Line a bowl with paper towels.

When the oil is hot, add the leeks and cook until lightly browned and crisp, about 1 minute, stirring constantly. Immediately remove the pan from the heat and pour the leeks into the strainer. Transfer to paper towels to drain. Strain the oil and reserve for other purposes.

For the soup

In a medium-size saucepan, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter over medium heat. Add 2 cups of the onions, 1 cup of the leeks, and shallots and sauté until soft and golden brown, about 8 minutes. Stir and scrape the pan often to prevent burning.

Meanwhile, in a small skillet, heat the remaining ½ tablespoon of butter over medium heat. Add the remaining cup of onion and sauté until soft and rich golden brown, 7 to 9 minutes, stirring often. Watch that they don’t burn. Set aside.

Pour the sherry into the saucepan with the leeks and shallots and bring to a boil over high heat, stirring up all the browned bits. Scrape the mixture into the jar of an electric blender or food processor, add the tarragon, and purée until smooth. Return the mixture to the saucepan, add the stock and cream; simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in the caramelized onion from the small skillet, season with salt and pepper, and keep warm over medium-low heat.

For the crostini, rub the toasted bread with garlic and brush with oil. Lay the slices on a cookie sheet or on the tray of a toaster oven, sprinkle on the cheese, and broil until the cheese is melted and lightly browned. Ladle the soup into two wide bowls, sprinkle on the leeks, add 2 crostini to each bowl, and serve at once.

Nutritional Facts

Total Fat
76g
100%
Saturated Fat
33g
100%
Cholesterol
243mg
81%
Carbohydrate, by difference
30g
23%
Protein
62g
100%
Vitamin A, RAE
52µg
7%
Vitamin B-12
3µg
100%
Vitamin B-6
1mg
77%
Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid
5mg
7%
Vitamin K (phylloquinone)
2µg
2%
Calcium, Ca
72mg
7%
Choline, total
69mg
16%
Fiber, total dietary
1g
4%
Folate, total
66µg
17%
Iron, Fe
6mg
33%
Magnesium, Mg
61mg
19%
Niacin
16mg
100%
Pantothenic acid
2mg
40%
Phosphorus, P
450mg
64%
Riboflavin
1mg
91%
Selenium, Se
57µg
100%
Sodium, Na
750mg
50%
Water
164g
6%
Zinc, Zn
8mg
100%

Onion Shopping Tip

Look for vegetables that are firm and bright in color – avoid those that are wilted or have wrinkled skins, which are signs of age.

Onion Cooking Tip

Vegetable should typically be cooked as quickly as possible, as they can become bland and mushy, and lose vitamins and minerals.