Easy Potato and Shallot Soup with Crispy Prosciutto - This creamy potato soup recipe is just loaded with the flavors of roasted shallots and garlic, and finished with delightfully crunchy bits of prosciutto crumbles. A perfect gluten free comfort food for a cold winter day!
During the fall and winter months, when the temperature dips low, a hearty and velvety bowl of soup really hits the spot. Loaded baked potato soup is great, but we chose to lean into the sweet and savory flavors of slow roasted shallots and garlic for this one. The shards of prosciutto shatter in your mouth with the perfect textural balance, and just the right amount of salty pork goodness.
What's a Shallot, Anyway?
Simply put, shallots are one of many members of the allium family of culinary aromatic vegetables. This includes onions, scallions, leeks, chives, and garlic. They grow in clusters, like garlic, but have layers within, like onions. If you're not familiar with what they look like, they resemble very small red onions, with a more slender and tear dropped shape, generally.
Because of the shallot's popularity in French cuisine, and the subsequent influence of French cooking on the restaurant industry, they are way more common in commercial kitchens than at home. I am fond of touting the flavor of shallots as being a chef's "secret weapon". It's one of the things that causes guests to exclaim, "why does it taste better here than when I make it at home?".
So what does a shallot taste like? What's the flavor of a shallot versus garlic, or a shallot versus a scallion, or onion? They have a similar flavor to all of the alliums, but to define them as garlicky onions, or spicier leeks, just doesn't really cut it. Shallots taste like shallots. They have a softness of flavor that melds into recipes very well, with a hint of musky flavor that is unique. To really get familiar with these little bulbs, you just have to go ahead and cook with them.
- Potatoes - Peeled and cut into roughly one inch chunks. We used red creamer potatoes for this recipe, but there are many different varieties you can use, see the FAQ below.
- Green Onions - An optional garnish, but these thinly sliced rings bring a fresh and green texture as well as flavor to the soup.
- Cream - We love the richness and sweetness of some whipping cream.
- Prosciutto - The combination of salt cured ham and potato is a classic. (Garnish)
- Parmigiano Reggiano - Finely grated cheese for garnish and flavor.
- Shallots - Shown here ready to be roasted, peeled and whole.
- Garlic - Fresh peeled cloves, roasted and mild.
- Rosemary - When the shallots and garlic are roasted, the aromatic punch that a sprig of this fresh herb provides is like magic.
- Corn or Potato Starch - This is an optional ingredient if the finished soup is not thick enough for your taste.
See recipe card for quantities.
You'll want to create a little pouch to contain the olive oil, shallots, garlic cloves, rosemary, and don't forget a little salt and pepper.
Seal the pouch up tightly and roast in a 350 degree oven for 45 to 50 minutes approximately.
Boil the chopped potatoes in water and a touch of chicken bouillon, (we like Better than Bouillon brand) until soft.
Here's an "after" shot of the shallots and garlic after they are done roasting. Reserve the oil to garnish and flavor the finished soup.
Add the shallots and garlic to the pot with the potatoes. No need to chop it up, as we'll blend it all together.
Add the cream.
Blend everything, either with an immersion blender as shown, or with a standard blender.
Blend it together thoroughly. It will get thicker and creamy at this point. If the soup is too thick, add some hot milk or water, making sure to taste for seasoning after and adjust as necessary.
Lay the sliced prosciutto in a single layer on a parchment lined sheet pan and cook at 500 degrees.
Remove from the oven after about 7 minutes, once the fat has rendered completely.
Here's all of the garnishes, ready to add to each bowl.
Add the ham, green onion, parmesan, and a drizzle of the reserved oil. Voila, potato and shallot soup with crispy prosciutto!
This soup is naturally gluten free, but can also accommodate other diets.
- Vegetarian - omit the prosciutto, (or sub toasted pumpkin seeds?), and use vegetable bouillon in place of the chicken.
- Vegan - Replace the cream with a plant based alternative, as well as the cheese, and the above substitutions also.
- Low Fat/Heathier - Substitute the cream for milk, and omit the prosciutto.
Here are some ideas for different ways to serve this potato soup.
- Loaded Baked Potato - Garnishing with bacon, chives, cheddar, and a bit of sour cream do will so the trick.
- Potato Leek - Substitute leeks for the shallots to make the famous potato leek soup.
Tightly sealed and refrigerated potato and roasted shallot soup will hold fresh for up to 4 days.
The crisped prosciutto will hold tightly covered at room temperature for 2 days.
The infused oil must be refrigerated, and will keep for 2 weeks.
The soup can also be frozen for up to one month.
Either reheat on the stove over a medium low flame, or sealed in the microwave, until at least 160 degrees.
Crispy Prosciutto and the shallot/garlic oil are wonderfully versatile ingredients in and of themselves. The Prosciutto is a beautiful addition to many other soups, pastas, or salads. The oil can be used in a salad dressing, whipped into an aioli, or as a simple condiment wherever the cozy roasted flavor is desired.
- Which type of potato is best for soup? - The answer to this is "it depends". We used red "creamer" potatoes because of the smoother and less starchy consistency that they have. A golden variety would work for when a sweeter and more buttery flavor would be preferred. Russet potatoes have a more hearty and thicker consistency.
- Does sour cream make potato soup thicker? - Sour cream is only thick when chilled. Once it is heated, it becomes runny and will break into water and fat. That is why you don't find sour cream being boiled or heated aggressively in recipes. Finishing a soup with it and stirring it in will make it richer and give it a nice tang of acidity, but not thicken it.
Looking for other recipes like potato and shallot soup with crispy prosciutto? Try these:
Potato and Shallot Soup with Crispy Prosciutto
- 1 Cutting Board
- 1 knife
- 1 vegetable peeler
- 1 Sheet pan lined with parchment
- 1 Blender immersion or stand
- 1 cheese grater microplane preferred
- 1 Medium Saucepan
- Aluminum foil as needed for roasting the garlic and shallots
- 5 oz. shallot peeled
- 4 cloves garlic large, peeled
- 3 Tbspn. olive oil extra virgin
- 1 sprig rosemary fresh
- 1 pinch salt kosher
- ½ pinch black pepper fresh ground preferred
- 1¾ lb. potatoes red, peeled and cut into ¾ inch chunks
- 4 cup water
- 3 tsp. bouillon base, chicken Better than Bouillon brand preferred
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 4 tsp. parmesan cheese finely grated
- 3 each green onion thinly sliced
- 3 oz. prosciutto thinly sliced
Roasting Shallots and Garlic
- Heat an oven to 350 degrees.
- Place garlic cloves, shallots, rosemary, olive oil, and salt and pepper into a foil packet and crimp to seal closed.
- Bake in oven on center rack for approximately 45 minutes, or until garlic and shallots are soft and very aromatic.
- Reserve garlic and shallots, and oil separately.
- Heat oven to 500 degrees.
- Lay prosciutto slices on a parchment lined sheet pan in a single layer.
- Bake in oven for 7 minutes, until lightly sizzling, and fat is shrunken and rendered.
- Remove from oven and place on paper towels to drain fat.
- In a saucepan, combine potatoes, water, and bouillon.
- Bring pan to a boil over high heat.
- Boil until potatoes are fall-apart tender, about 20 to 30 minutes.
- Add the shallots and garlic.
- Add cream.
- Blend until completely smooth with blender.
- Ladle the soup into bowls.
- Grate cheese on top.
- Sprinkle green onion and shards of crispy prosciutto on top.
- Drizzle a little oil over the soup.