Leftover parmesan rind is the secret ingredient that turns this soup into something very special, and skins from the potatoes are used like crunchy croutons.
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (plus a few extra for the potato skins)
- 2 small brown onions, peeled and roughly chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and bashed with the palm of your hand
- ½ celery stick, roughly chopped
- 2 medium potatoes, peeled and roughly chopped (keep the peel for roasting)
- thyme leaves, to your liking
- leftover parmesan rind, optional
- 500 g frozen peas
- salt and pepper
- 8 thin pancetta slices
- pea tendrils, for serving, optional
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
1. Heat oven to 200°C.
2. Heat the oil in a medium-sized pot. Add onion, garlic, celery, potatoes and thyme leaves and cook over medium heat for 3-4 minutes. Add rind and cover with water. Bring to a simmer and turn the heat to low. Cook for 20 minutes or until all the veggies are soft.
3. Add the peas and cook for a further 5 minutes. Remove rind. Puree soup using an immersion blender. Taste for seasoning and adjust to your liking. Set aside.
4. While the soup is cooking, place the potato skins in an oven tray lined with baking paper, toss with a little extra-virgin olive oil and salt. Arrange pancetta slices on the same tray, if there’s room, or in a separate one, lined with baking paper. Cook for 20-25 minutes, or until crispy. The pancetta will take less to bake, so remove it from the tray when done and set aside. Bake the potato skins for another 5 minutes or until crispy. Add herbs, if liked.
5. Serve the soup in a bowl, topped with black pepper, pea tendrils (optional) and a few pancetta slices. Serve with crispy potato skins.