By: Mary Jane Miller
You can take pretty much any vegetable and turn it into a creamy, satisfying soup that is great hot or cold. Serves 4.
- 1 package Red Table Meat Co. pancetta, cubed into 1 inch pieces (or substitute 2 Tablespoons butter)
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 1 clove garlic, chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups coarsely chopped vegetables (In winter, I love to use winter squash and turnips)
- 1 Yukon gold or white potato, peeled and coarsely chopped
- 1/2 cup broth (chicken or vegetable) or water
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
In a medium pot, cook pancetta over medium heat until fat is rendered. Remove pieces of cooked pancetta and set aside (or melt butter, if substituting). Add onion and garlic. Stir to coat with fat. Add salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are softened but not brown, about 3 minutes.
Add potatoes and broth. Note: If your vegetables are hard and need more time to cook (like squash or other root vegetables), add them here. If they are tender (like zucchini, tomatoes or broccoli) add them for the last 5 to 7 minutes of cooking. Bring broth to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer 15 minutes or until potatoes and other vegetables are very tender.
Add milk and pepper. Use an immersion blender to puree soup until very smooth. If you use a standard blender, blend it in batches and remove center plug from lid. Cover top with kitchen towel as hot soup can spurt out while blending.
Spoon into bowls and serve topped with a dollop of sour cream, croutons, popcorn, drizzles of olive oil, slivers of vegetables and/or chopped herbs, and, of course, the cooked pancetta.