The trick to a tasty soup is to sweat the vegetables in bacon-flavored olive oil until they're supersoft. I then purée and season them well. You'll find the soup packed with flavor—from the fruitiness of the olive oil, the smoky pancetta, and the fresh taste of the vegetables.
Serves 4 to 5 Prep Time 10 minutes Cooking Time 20 minutes
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 sprig fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
30 grams pancetta, chopped
(see Shopping Tip below)
1/4 cup shallots, minced
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
350 grams frozen peas
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, plus more for topping
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup cream
pepper, to taste
1 Boil together chicken broth, thyme, and bay leaf. Set aside.
2 Cook pancetta over medium-high heat until crisp, about 8 minutes. Transfer pancetta to a parchment paper-lined plate, leaving the oil in the pan. Set pancetta aside.
3 In the same pan, sauté shallots in remaining oil and cook until softened, about 3 minutes.Stir in flour and cook until bubbly. Add broth mixture and peas. Bring to a boil and simmer until peas are soft, about 5 minutes. Season with salt. Remove bay leaf and thyme.
4 In a blender, purée soup until smooth. Stir in Parmesan cheese, milk, and cream. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
5 To serve, pour soup into deep bowls. Top with fried pancetta and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
Substitution tip: You can also tweak this basic recipe to your liking: Sub the peas with cauliflower, broccoli, pumpkin, or mushrooms and you can have a new, flavorful bowl of soup any time.
Shopping tip: Pancetta is available at Santis Delicatessen, The Landmark, and S&R. You can also use premium bacon).
Photography by Patrick Martires | Styling by Paulynn Chang Afable
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