Italian Style Soup

Soup, in my opinion, is ridiculously underrated. One of my all time favourite dishes is actually my Nan’s Boxing Day turkey soup. I could quite happily eat this every single day of my life, and if I didn’t need to buy an entire turkey each time to make it then I probably would. Such a simple recipe but packed with more flavour that you could ever imagine just makes my Nan’s soup the absolute best. See, that’s the thing with soups, they’re actually really easy to make, but for some reason not many people seem to make their own any more. Instead it seems that people would rather the convenience of a tasteless and overly salted canned soup over a healthy, hearty home made version. This type of convenience is one I will never understand.

I understand not making your own fresh pasta, your own pastry from scratch or a weekly home made jar of jam. I’m not saying that everything should be home made as I know that is a completely unrealistic suggestion. We all have busy lives and at the end of the day who wants to be peeling peanuts for hours for their very own freshly made peanut butter? Not me. Ever. But when something is so simple to make, like soup, why would you chose second best? Well I’m going to prove to you that making your own soup is well worth that small amount of extra time.

This Italian Style Soup is another favourite of mine and is inspired by a recipe from one of Gino’s books. This was my go to dish at university when I wanted to make something quick and easy but still full of flavour. Three years on (wow, was it really that long ago) and I’m still making it to this very day.

As a big fan of soup, it suddenly occurred to me the other day that I really don’t have many soup recipes up on Always Make Thyme, so here is one to add to my collection, with many more to follow.

Italian Style Soup

Ingredients:

(Serves 4)

Olive oil
180g pancetta, roughly chopped
1 leek, sliced
1 carrot, peeled and diced
1 large potato, peeled and diced
2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
2 handfuls of freshly trimmed kale
1.6 litres of good quality vegetable stock
100g freshly grated parmesan
Salt and fresh black pepper

Method:

  1. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a large saucepan over a medium to high heat and then fry the pancetta until it begins to crisp.
  2. Add in the leek, carrot and potato and fry until starting to brown. Next, add the garlic and fry for a further minute before pouring in your vegetable stock. Bring to a boil and then simmer, uncovered for 15 minutes.
  3. After 15 minutes add in the fresh kale and stir well before simmering for a further 5 minutes. Pour in three quarters of your parmesan and then season with fresh black pepper and a little salt, if necessary, and give it a good stir.
  4. Ladle into four bowls and then sprinkle the rest of the parmesan on top with a drizzle of olive oil if you wish.

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