YieldsMakes 9 cups; 6 main-dish servings
Notes: To decorate servings, set aside a few caramelized onion pieces.

How to Make It

Step 1
1

In an 8- or 9-inch-wide pan, mix shallots with oil. Bake in a 375° oven until deep golden, shaking pan occasionally to turn pieces, about 1 hour.

Step 2
2

Meanwhile, in a 5- to 6-quart pan over medium-high heat, frequently stir onions, butter, and sugar until onions are deep golden brown, about 45 minutes.

Step 3
3

Add sherry to shallots, stirring to release browned bits in pan. Pour mixture into onions. In a blender, whirl vegetables, a portion at a time, until very smooth, adding enough broth to facilitate blending. Return puréed vegetables to pan. Add remaining broth, thyme, and sage.

Step 4
4

Stirring often, bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes to blend flavors. Add half-and-half and stir over medium-high heat until hot, 2 to 3 minutes. Add parsley.

Step 5
5

Ladle into bowls and season to taste with hot sauce, salt and pepper, and juice from lemon wedges.

Ingredients

 1 1/2 pounds shallots (about 1 1/2 in. wide), peeled
 2 teaspoons olive oil
 3 pounds onions, peeled and thinly sliced
 3 tablespoons butter or margarine
 2 tablespoons firmly packed brown sugar
 3/4 cup cream sherry
 5 cups fat-skimmed beef broth
 1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme leaves or dried thyme
 1 1/2 teaspoons dried rubbed sage
 3 cups half-and-half (light cream)
 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  Hot sauce
  Salt and pepper
  Lemon wedges

Directions

Step 1
1

In an 8- or 9-inch-wide pan, mix shallots with oil. Bake in a 375° oven until deep golden, shaking pan occasionally to turn pieces, about 1 hour.

Step 2
2

Meanwhile, in a 5- to 6-quart pan over medium-high heat, frequently stir onions, butter, and sugar until onions are deep golden brown, about 45 minutes.

Step 3
3

Add sherry to shallots, stirring to release browned bits in pan. Pour mixture into onions. In a blender, whirl vegetables, a portion at a time, until very smooth, adding enough broth to facilitate blending. Return puréed vegetables to pan. Add remaining broth, thyme, and sage.

Step 4
4

Stirring often, bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes to blend flavors. Add half-and-half and stir over medium-high heat until hot, 2 to 3 minutes. Add parsley.

Step 5
5

Ladle into bowls and season to taste with hot sauce, salt and pepper, and juice from lemon wedges.

Caramelized Onion and Shallot Cream Soup