Note: this recipe was a food52 Editors' Pick.
Silky Shallot Soup with Crispy Pancetta
3 tablespoons butter
5 cups shallots, thinly sliced, plus a half cup
Salt, pepper and crushed red pepper, to taste
1 bay leaf
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tablespoon rosemary, minced
1/2 cup dry white wine
20 ounces good quality chicken stock
1/4 cup heavy cream
5 1/2 inch slices pancetta, cubed
Heat olive oil and butter in a large soup pot over medium, add 5 cups shallots, sweat until soft for several minutes.
Add salt, pepper, crushed red pepper and bay leaf. Cook until golden and beginning to caramelize, stirring often, about 20 minutes. Add garlic and rosemary.
After another five minutes or so, deglaze with wine and reduce. Add chicken stock and simmer for at least 10 minutes, longer if you have the time. Remove bay leaf.
Meantime, saute pancetta in a stainless steel pan until crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Add remaining 1/2 cup shallots to pancetta fat and cook until crisp. Place on paper towels.