It’s winter, and this one has been a REAL winter. Tons of snow, a bunch of ridiculously cold days, and that feeling of wanting to do nothing more than wrap up in a blanket in front of the fire. As a side note, man do I ever wish we had a wood burning fireplace, gas just isn’t the same. Another thing that goes with this kind of winter is soup, and I don’t mean fancy-dancy, melon infused anything with a sprig of mint. In a winter like this you need something full of potatoes and veggies, something hearty that you could have as lunch or dinner. And bacon, or pancetta, only makes it better.
This is a really good, basic, hearty soup. You can leave it nice and chunky, or puree it like I did (the kids prefer it that way, I think they just like to make more work for me). Any way you eat it, it’ll warm you up, inside and out.
Make your life a little easier by getting everything you need prepped and measured out.
First up, toss all that delicious pancetta into the pan.
Cook it until it’s nice and crispy, well browned on all sides.
Perfect. I won’t lie here, about a third of this was gone by the time the soup was finished. If you’re like me, you might want to cook a little extra.
Don’t clean out all that delicious brownness and fat… that’s all flavour. Now add a tablespoon of butter. Don’t worry about the fat, this makes a lot of soup. Like, feed a family of four twice and still have some to take to work.
Once the butter is melted, add the onions and pepper. Sauté until softened. You can use this time to scrape up all the brown bits on the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon too.
Toss in the garlic and sauté for about a minute.
Add the flour, salt, and pepper.
Give it a good stir.
Pour in the stock and dump in the potatoes. If you do that the other way around you won’t splash stock all over yourself like I did.
Cover the pot, bring it up to a boil, then let it simmer for 15 minutes.
Dump in the carrots and corn. Cover it up and simmer for another 10 minutes.
Stir in the heavy cream. If you want it chunky season it up now and you’re good to go.
If you’re going to puree it, season after. Bo felt that the immersion blender didn’t do a good enough job of pureeing the soup (it still had a bit of a grit to it). He would have preferred that I pour the chunky soup into the blender to get it nice and smooth. In the pursuit of getting this sucker onto the table and into my belly, Bo dealt with a little grit. Grit doesn’t change taste after all, so do it however you prefer it.
Season with a bit of salt and a generous amount of pepper (to your own taste though). NOTE: If you can get your hands on some andouille sausage, I highly recommend adding it to this soup. Cook it up after the pancetta, then add it back into the soup after you’ve blended it. Nothing is better than andouille sausage in a potato soup, it’s just really difficult for me to find. I need to make a trip to the city market one of these Saturday mornings and stock my freezer with it.
And, that’s it. Just top your bowl with as little (or as much) pancetta as you’d like. You can dump all the pancetta into the soup if you want to, but I prefer it added individually.
I’m wishing I still had some of this kicking around for today now.
Here’s your printable:
- 8 oz pancetta, diced into ¼" cubes
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 cup diced onion
- ¾ cup diced bell pepper, any color
- 1 tbsp minced garlic
- 2 tbsp flour
- salt and pepper to taste
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 4 cups peeled, finely diced all-purpose potatoes
- 1½ cups shredded carrot
- 2 cups frozen corn kernels
- 1 cup heavy cream
- In a large pot, crisp the pancetta over medium-high heat until well browned on all sides. Remove with a slotted spoon to a paper towel lined plate and set aside.
- Add butter to the pot. Once melted add the onion and pepper, sauteing over medium heat until softened, about 5 minutes. Scrape up any brown bits left from the pancetta with a wooden spoon. Add garlic and saute for an additional minute. Stir in the four and a dash of salt and pepper.
- Add the diced potatoes and the chicken broth. Cover the pot, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and let simmer for 15 minutes. Add the shredded carrots and corn, cover, and simmer for an additional 10 minutes.
- Stir in the heavy cream and season to taste with salt and pepper. You can serve the soup chunky as-is, or puree it at this point using an immersion blender, or by pouring the soup into a blender in batches and blending. Top with pancetta and serve hot.
Andouille sausage is a fantastic addition to this soup, but difficult for me to get a hold of. If you can find it, dice it up into chunks and cook it up after the pancetta. Remove from the pan, and add once the soup is finished to reheat (after you puree it).