Creamed soups are part of alta cucina (refined cooking) and for the most part are found in chic northern Italian restaurants but that does not mean that they are difficult to make at home. Ths velvety pea soup is thickened with potato and served with crisp pancetta and fried bread triangles.
2 tablespoons butter
2 thin slices bread, crusts removed and cut diagonally into triangles
2 tablespoons Filippo Berio olive oil
1/4 pound pancetta, diced
1 large white onion, chopped
2 large potatoes, peeled and shredded
4 cups fresh or frozen peas
1 chicken boullion cube, crushed
4 cups hot water
2 sprigs thyme tied together
Salt to taste
Grinding black pepper
Melt the butter in a small saute pan and when it is bubbly, brown the bread slices on both sides. Transfer them to a small dish and set aside.
Heat the olive oil in a soup pot and brown the pancetta; when it is crispy, transfer it to a dish and set aside.
Stir in the onion and potatoes and cook until the onion begins to soften, but not brown. Stir in the peas and the crushed boullion and cover the mixture with hot water. Add the thyme, salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and cook uncovered for about 20 minutes or until the potatoes are very soft.
Remove the thyme and discard it. Puree the soup in batches in a food processor or with an immersion blender.
Return the soup to the soup pot and reheat. Ladle the soup into individual soup bowls and sprinkle the tops with some of the pancetta. Serve hot with two bread triangles.
For a thinner soup, add more water or for a richer taste, add non-fat Half and Half or heavy cream.
This recipe is featured in show 1713, Eat Peas - Mangiare i Piselli.
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