Community Message Boards
Results 1 to 23 of 23

Thread: Does "one shallot" mean one clove or the whole head? Making soup.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Out looking for a sous chef
    Posts
    5,800

    Question Does "one shallot" mean one clove or the whole head? Making soup.

    My searches have turned up conflicting answers in the BB (mostly use the whole head), in The Food Lover's Tiptionary (use just one clove), & Internet (both answers). Recipe is below, if that helps--what should I use? Thanks!

    Carrot-and-Tomato Soup

    Recipe By :Excellent, bright orange soup.
    Serving Size : 16
    Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
    -------- ------------ --------------------------------
    SOUP INGREDIENTS:
    3 pounds ripe tomatoes -- peeled, seeded, and coarsely chopped

    4 tablespoons unsalted butter
    2 pounds carrots -- or more, peeled and coarsely shredded
    2 pounds white potatoes -- peeled and coarsely shredded
    4 large shallots -- chopped
    2 small onion -- coarsely chopped
    6 cups chicken stock -- or maybe 25% more

    2 teaspoons salt
    2 teaspoons sugar
    2 tablespoons tomato paste
    1 teaspoon ground coriander
    1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

    OPTIONAL GARNISH:
    Freshly ground pepper -- but not too much
    Italian parsley -- finely chopped
    Sour cream thinned with a little milk -- placed into a Baggie with the corner cut off and squiggled onto the servings

    Begin boiling water to blanch tomatoes for easy peeling. Continue with the
    tomatoes while preparing rest of recipe.

    Melt butter in a medium-sized saucepan. Add carrots, potatoes, shallots,
    and onion. Mix to coat with butter, and cover. Over the lowest heat, cook
    for 10 minutes, shaking pan occasionally to prevent scorching.

    Add 1/4 cup of the chicken stock (for 8-serving recipe) and continue
    cooking, covered, for 10 minutes. Add tomato pulp. Mix and simmer
    uncovered for 10 minutes more.

    Add balance of the stock, salt, sugar, tomato paste, ground coriander, and
    pepper. Simmer an additional 10 minutes. Correct seasoning if necessary,
    but don't be tempted to add salt at this point, as the salt tends to
    intensify as the soup stands (or is refrigerated for later). For the
    2-quart (8-serving) recipe, I increased the salt to 1 1/2 tsp last time,
    and the soup became too salty. I suspect that 1 1/4 tsp might be too salty
    also, so I'm leaving it at 1 tsp.

    Let cool slightly. Using low pulse setting, mix soup
    in batches in a blender for just a few seconds, or use a stick blender
    right in the pot. The texture should remain coarse. Ladle into bowls;
    garnish and serve.

    MAKE AHEAD. This soup is nice when it's just made, but it tastes even
    better the next day. Reheat gently before serving.

    Source:
    "Lee Bailey's City Food"
    Yield:
    "4 generous quarts"
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

    Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 117 Calories; 3g Fat (25.6%
    calories from fat); 3g Protein; 19g Carbohydrate; 3g Dietary Fiber; 8mg
    Cholesterol; 1116mg Sodium. Exchanges: 1/2 Grain(Starch); 2 Vegetable;
    1/2 Fat; 0 Other Carbohydrates.
    If you're afraid of butter, use cream. ~~ Julia Child

    As you cook, you enjoy omniscience about food that no amount of label reading can match. Having retaken control of the meal from the food scientists, you know exactly what is in it. (Unless you start w/cream of mushroom soup, in which case all bets are off.) To reclaim control over one's food, to take it back from industry & science, is no small thing; indeed, in our time, cooking from scratch qualifies as subversive. ~~ Michael Pollan

  2. #2
    i believe it means the whole shallot.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    1,658
    What Lizzie said...also, looking at the yield (16 servings, 4 large quarts) a single clove of shallot wouldn't add much.

    I am generally fed up with small amounts of small things and would just throw the whole thing in just so I wouldn't have more bits and pieces in the fridge...but that's just me.
    Sonja in Southern Maryland

    All kids are gifted; some just open their packages earlier than others. -Michael Carr

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Columbus, Ohio
    Posts
    4,103
    Your shallots come in heads?? huh!?

    The shallots I use look like individual mini-onions, slightly oblong and very occasionally have to "hearts" under the same skin but are usually individual, loose pieces?

    I am so curious as to what your shallots look like...
    - Josie


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Right-pond
    Posts
    234
    Shallots are milder than onions, and some varietals don't have separate 'cloves' (such as banana). Always use the whole thing.

    However in this soup, I doubt they add anything to the flavour and can be omitted completely. You've got 2 onions which will totally hide the shallots, I don't know why they haven't just said 3 small onions.

    Another tip; when you deseed the tomatoes, sieve the pulp, pressing the seeds to extract as much liquid as possible, discard the seeds and add the juice to the soup. The juice from the seeds of ripe fruit is the tastiest bit of the tomato, the outer flesh has more sugar but the seed liquid has natural glutametes which enhance the other flavours.
    Has anyone seen reality? I'm sure it was there a minute ago

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Un-American NY
    Posts
    8,610
    Quote Originally Posted by Johnny C View Post
    However in this soup, I doubt they add anything to the flavour and can be omitted completely. You've got 2 onions which will totally hide the shallots, I don't know why they haven't just said 3 small onions.
    Sorry to disagree, but, as you said yourself, shallots are milder than onions, so using the shallots still adds an onion flavor, but cuts the edge that using all regular onions would have.

    The local market always have shallots in a basket at the register with a sign saying "dry shallots." I was puzzled by this, wondering what the difference was, so I looked it up. Dry shallots are what are generally available, but in Spring when the new shallots come up, they're called "green" shallots, and those off-season are the dry.

    Who knew? I've never seen a fresh shallot, even at a farmers market.

    Bob

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Out looking for a sous chef
    Posts
    5,800
    Quote Originally Posted by avariell View Post
    Your shallots come in heads?? huh!?

    The shallots I use look like individual mini-onions, slightly oblong and very occasionally have to "hearts" under the same skin but are usually individual, loose pieces?

    I am so curious as to what your shallots look like...
    Here you go. I put the measuring tape there b/c at 4", the one on the left seems unusually big.

    Name:  DSC06823.jpg
Views: 16060
Size:  4.1 KB

    The left one has two distinct parts, each fully covered by the papery skin. Is that one shallot, or two? The other three have about two cloves each (two "hearts"), both enclosed in the same papery skin.
    If you're afraid of butter, use cream. ~~ Julia Child

    As you cook, you enjoy omniscience about food that no amount of label reading can match. Having retaken control of the meal from the food scientists, you know exactly what is in it. (Unless you start w/cream of mushroom soup, in which case all bets are off.) To reclaim control over one's food, to take it back from industry & science, is no small thing; indeed, in our time, cooking from scratch qualifies as subversive. ~~ Michael Pollan

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Right-pond
    Posts
    234
    Quote Originally Posted by bobmark226 View Post
    Sorry to disagree, but, as you said yourself, shallots are milder than onions, so using the shallots still adds an onion flavor, but cuts the edge that using all regular onions would have.
    Hi Bob

    If you need a milder flavour for onions, such as soups, you should boil them (chopped) in water for 3 mins, this takes the sharper bitter flavours out. Boiling leaches the sharper flavours into the water (which smells bad!). The sharper flavours also have lots of sulfur (hence the flavour) and cause flatulence and can upset the digestion.

    I used to make industrial quantities (25lb at a time) of 'curry gravy' - a thick sauce used as a base for curries. If you didn't blanch the onions first, the curry always had a bitter unpleasant taste. Boiling them brought out the softer flavours. When I started making my own soups, I found the same principle applies.

    I make a cheese&onion soup occasionally. I've made it with both shallots and onions. All that goes in is fresh chicken stock, onion, cheese and spices, so the onion flavour is quite dominant. Made with unblanched onions, it's not nice and gives bad wind; made with blanched onions, it tastes just like the shallot version and doesn't have the unsociable after-effects.
    Has anyone seen reality? I'm sure it was there a minute ago

  9. #9
    TK,
    I try to find shallots that appear as one oblong onion, and no more than 2 in one skin. Sort of like the 3 on the right in your picture. Then I use the whole thing (both parts). TK, I'd save a bit of the shallot to use as a fine diced garnish on the soup.

    While boiling onions is one way to reduce the harshness, it can result in cooked onions and that could change the texture one might be going for in a dish. Obviously as this is a pureed soup, the texture of the onion isn't as important.
    Another way to reduce the harshness of the onion is to plunge the sliced, chopped, whathaveyou, onion into ice water for a few minutes. It basically washes off that sulfur compound that occurs when the onion is cut. I believe it is 2 different chemicals that combine to make that odor (Thanks AB).
    Icing the onions is a common technique in Mexican restaurants. (Thanks RB)

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Right-pond
    Posts
    234
    Thanks for the iced-water tip, that's good for guacamole etc. and also cold indian chutneys. I would guess it's the same compounds that make you cry.
    Has anyone seen reality? I'm sure it was there a minute ago

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Nebraska
    Posts
    1,604
    I thought shallots had a slight garlic flavor with the onion flavor and that is the difference...so when I have a recipe that calls for a shallot and I don't have one I use a small clove of garlic and (since shallots are small) about a 1/4 cup of chopped onion...but that is only me based on knowlege I gained somewhere (and sometimes I dream about things and can't remember)

    For the record the shallots I have bought are like one very small onion.

    Pam

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Un-American NY
    Posts
    8,610
    Quote Originally Posted by Johnny C View Post
    If you need a milder flavour for onions, such as soups, you should boil them (chopped) in water for 3 mins, this takes the sharper bitter flavours out. Boiling leaches the sharper flavours into the water (which smells bad!). The sharper flavours also have lots of sulfur (hence the flavour) and cause flatulence and can upset the digestion.
    Elizabeth David, 1934 or so?

    Bob

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Out looking for a sous chef
    Posts
    5,800
    Quote Originally Posted by Johnny C
    If you need a milder flavour for onions, such as soups, you should boil them (chopped) in water for 3 mins, this takes the sharper bitter flavours out. Boiling leaches the sharper flavours into the water (which smells bad!). The sharper flavours also have lots of sulfur (hence the flavour) and cause flatulence and can upset the digestion.
    Quote Originally Posted by bobmark226 View Post
    Elizabeth David, 1934 or so?

    Bob
    I Googled Elizabeth David b/c I had no idea who this was. Hmmm . . . she has a cookbook titled, "South Wind Through the Kitchen."

    Thanks to everyone who's responding, with lots of generally useful info as well. I think a way to reconcile the "one clove" with "one whole head" problem is to look at the papery skin: in my photo, each lumpy (multi-cloved) shallot (3 on the right) all covered by one skin = one shallot, but the one on the left is two shallots in two skins, still slightly hooked together at the root. If this is true, then I've got five shallots, although one's huge & one's tiny (the two that are linked). BTW, for anyone who figures I'm really overthinking this : I have an important family lunch coming up, and I don't want to risk messing up my soup when entertaining. At one time, I had thought that you'd peel off the skin & then each lump = one shallot; I'm past that now.
    If you're afraid of butter, use cream. ~~ Julia Child

    As you cook, you enjoy omniscience about food that no amount of label reading can match. Having retaken control of the meal from the food scientists, you know exactly what is in it. (Unless you start w/cream of mushroom soup, in which case all bets are off.) To reclaim control over one's food, to take it back from industry & science, is no small thing; indeed, in our time, cooking from scratch qualifies as subversive. ~~ Michael Pollan

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Location
    Ozone Park, NY
    Posts
    2,675
    I love reading Elizabeth David cookbooks, but I would not really use her recipes. I do believe she passed away.

    My shallot rule goes by root. One root, one shallot!

    Angela

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Right-pond
    Posts
    234
    Probably - my source was "The Indian Restaurant Cookbook" - Pat Chapman, sometime in the 80's probably (now covered in years worth of curry-coloured splatters). If you're ever after a definitive book for making curry such as you'd get in a good English curryhouse, that's the book to try.
    Has anyone seen reality? I'm sure it was there a minute ago

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Right-pond
    Posts
    234
    I must confess I'd never heard anyone refer to the cloves within a shallot before, I opened the thread as I wondered if you had different shallots to us over here.

    I try and buy the banana shallots (I think they're also known as 'eschallion' or something like that) - they never have 'cloves' and are far easier to chop finely. They're difficult to come by in supermarkets though, you sometimes find them in the 'Best' range, but more likely are found in good grocers.
    Has anyone seen reality? I'm sure it was there a minute ago

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Location
    Ozone Park, NY
    Posts
    2,675
    What is the "best" range?

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    San Francisco
    Posts
    19,680
    I was curious, too; never heard of a clove of shallot, but now I get it. I typically see recipes that call for shallots in volume not quantity - there's such a range that I would think it could be unhelpful to someone who didn't wasn't comfortable making the call on how much "one" shallot should yield.

    Great "seeing" you, Johnny!
    Happiness is not a goal, it is a byproduct. - Eleanor Roosevelt

  19. #19
    I go by the "one root - one shallot" school of thought as well. I love shallots, and I generally eyeball the amount anyway. Like garlic, a little extra never seems to hurt anything.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Out looking for a sous chef
    Posts
    5,800
    Quote Originally Posted by Angelina View Post
    I love reading Elizabeth David cookbooks, but I would not really use her recipes. I do believe she passed away.
    Not from her own cooking, I hope!

    Quote Originally Posted by Canice View Post
    I was curious, too; never heard of a clove of shallot, but now I get it. I typically see recipes that call for shallots in volume not quantity - there's such a range that I would think it could be unhelpful to someone who didn't wasn't comfortable making the call on how much "one" shallot should yield.
    Aahhh, my ploy worked. I knew if I put "soup" in the thread title, you'd check in. Got any idea of the typical yield from one shallot? I agree about putting volume instead--much easier.
    If you're afraid of butter, use cream. ~~ Julia Child

    As you cook, you enjoy omniscience about food that no amount of label reading can match. Having retaken control of the meal from the food scientists, you know exactly what is in it. (Unless you start w/cream of mushroom soup, in which case all bets are off.) To reclaim control over one's food, to take it back from industry & science, is no small thing; indeed, in our time, cooking from scratch qualifies as subversive. ~~ Michael Pollan

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    San Francisco
    Posts
    19,680
    Quote Originally Posted by testkitchen45 View Post
    Not from her own cooking, I hope!



    Aahhh, my ploy worked. I knew if I put "soup" in the thread title, you'd check in. Got any idea of the typical yield from one shallot? I agree about putting volume instead--much easier.
    Hehe.

    I don't think you can say what the yield is: a large one can be a cup, a small one maybe 1/3 cup...I guess I'd just pick up the middle-sized ones.

    Interesting about "fresh" shallots: I've seen a number of fresh aliums, but that one doesn't ring a bell.
    Happiness is not a goal, it is a byproduct. - Eleanor Roosevelt

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Right-pond
    Posts
    234
    Ciao Canice, buono stare qui!

    Angelina, the 'best' ranges are a range that each supermarket has of premium products at premium prices. Tesco's is called 'Finest', I forget what Sainsbury's and Asda (Walmart) call theirs.

    They tend to target those ranges on stores where the demographics indicate people will spend more on the premium products. Sadly where I live these days the demographics point the wrong way so we don't often see the good stuff, on the other hand there's some decent farm shops out of the city where you can get even higher quality, it just means you have to make a special trip.

    Good thread TK!

    The board I used to frequent (RQ) doesn't have much foody discussion going on these days, Canice pointed me here some time ago, this is more my sort of thing.
    Has anyone seen reality? I'm sure it was there a minute ago

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Out looking for a sous chef
    Posts
    5,800
    Checking back in to say thanks, all. I threw in all the shallots, and the soup turned out great. I have a feeling that the flavor's so mild, it doesn't make much of a difference. In my photo, I think the two separately-wrapped segments probably qualified as two shallots, but I didn't want any l/o so figured that for 16 servings, it wouldn't matter, so in they went!

    Soup's great, BTW. God bless whoever invented the stick blender.
    If you're afraid of butter, use cream. ~~ Julia Child

    As you cook, you enjoy omniscience about food that no amount of label reading can match. Having retaken control of the meal from the food scientists, you know exactly what is in it. (Unless you start w/cream of mushroom soup, in which case all bets are off.) To reclaim control over one's food, to take it back from industry & science, is no small thing; indeed, in our time, cooking from scratch qualifies as subversive. ~~ Michael Pollan

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •