Centenary Pancetta and Pumpkin Soup
Serve up this silky, rich soup for a sophisticated starter. The combination of sweet roasted pumpkin and smoky pancetta is perfectly paired with crisp parmesan toast.
- Preheat the oven to 200°C.
- To prepare the pumpkins, quarter each one and remove the seeds.
- Keeping the skins on, place the pumpkin skin-side down on a lined baking tray.
- Drizzle 40ml of the olive oil over the pumpkin, season to taste and roast for 50 minutes. It should be caramelised and very tender.
- Scoop the pumpkin flesh out, set aside and discard the skins.
- In a saucepan over medium heat, warm the butter and remaining olive oil. Once hot, add the onion and garlic and sauté for 6 minutes, until golden.
- Next, add the pancetta and cook for 2 minutes until crisp.
- Add the pumpkin, stock and thyme. Bring to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes.
- With a hand-held blender, blitz until smooth and creamy.
- Stir through the parmesan, red wine vinegar and season to taste. Keep warm until serving.
- For the parmesan toast, preheat the grill to high.
- In a bowl, mix the butter, parmesan and garlic until well combined.
- Grill the bread slices until golden on one side, then turn and spread each piece with parmesan butter.
- Grill for a further minute or two until golden.
- Pour the soup into bowls and top with crispy pancetta and an extra garnish of thyme. Serve with the parmesan toast.
Prep time: 20 Minutes
Cook time: 1.5 Hours
3 butternut pumpkins (approx. 1.2kg)
100ml extra virgin olive oil
2 white onions, thinly sliced
40g butter, cubed
3 garlic cloves, minced
130g pancetta, diced (extra for garnishing, optional)
2 litres chicken stock
90g parmesan, finely grated
1tbsp thyme leaves
1.5tsp red wine vinegar
For The Parmesan Toast:
100g butter, softened
75g parmesan, finely grated
1 garlic clove, minced
2 baguettes, sliced