Category: Soups, Desserts
8 c Chicken broth (see recipe) 1 ea Potato, peeled, chopped
1/3 c Olive oil 2 ea Zucchini, finely chopped
1/4 c Chopped parsley 1 ea Large tomato, chopped
4 ea Garlic cloves 1/4 lb Mushrooms, finely chopped
1/4 lb Pancetta or unsmoked bacon 1/4 lb String beans finely chopped
3 c Shredded cabbage 4 ea Pieces prosciutto rind
1 ea Medium onion, finely chopped 1 x Salt, to taste
2 ea Carrots, finely chopped 1 x Pepper, to taste
1 ea Celery stalk, finely chopped 1/2 c Grated Parmesan cheese
There are as many versions of vegetable soup in Italy as there there are
cooks. Pancetta - Pancetta is the same cut of pork as bacon. It is cured
with salt and is not smoked. It comes rolled up like a large salami.
Widely used in Italian cooking, especially in Emilia-Romagna, it is vital
to many dishes. If available, buy a large quantity. Cut into several
pieces and freeze it. You can substitute domestic bacon for pancetta. It
must be blanched in boiling water for two three minutes to reduce the smoky
flavour. Fresh side pork can also be used. I'll be posting several recipes
over the next while that call for pancetta, so if you can find some, it
won't go to waste. Prepare chicken broth.
Heat oil in a large saucepan. Add parsley and garlic. Saute over medium
heat. Before garlic changes colour, add pancetta. Saute until lightly
browned. Stir in cabbage. Cover and cook 1 to 2 minutes. Add remaining
vegetables to saucepan. Cover and cook about 5 minutes. Add broth and
water, if using, and prosciutto rind or ham shank. Cover and reduce heat.
Simmer 40 to 50 minutes. Remove half the vegetables with a slotted spoon.
Place in a blender or food processor and process until smooth. Return to
saucepan. Season with salt and pepper. Serve hot with Parmesan cheese
sprinkled over top. Makes 8 to 10 servings. VARIATION: Toast about 20
thick slices of Italian bread. Place 2 slices in each soup bowl and
sprinkle generously with Parmesan cheese. Ladle soup into bowls. Serve with
additional Parmesan cheese.
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