Carrot and Winter Squash Soup
with Pancetta
(Zuppa di Carote e Zucca)

Carrot and Winter Squash Soup with Pancetta

Serves 6-8


This fall dish was inspired by long hours of perusing my Mom's collection of Italian cooking magazines dating back to the early 1960s. At that time, simple puréed soups featuring seasonal ingredients were as popular as they are today—with good reason.

  • 1-1/2 lb (750 g) butternut squash,
         peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 lb (500 g) carrots,
         peeled and cut into chunks
  • 2 yellow onions, cut into chunks
  • 3 large cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 4 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh basil
  • 1 tablespoon coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • Fine sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup (2 fl oz/60 ml) extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 4 cups (32 fl oz/1 l) chicken broth, preferably homemade
         (page 207 of the book), plus more for thinning the soup
  • 6 oz (185 g) pancetta, cut into 3/4-inch (2-cm) dice

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). In a roasting pan, combine the squash, carrots, onions, garlic, thyme, basil, and parsley. Season with 1 teaspoon salt and a grinding of pepper. Drizzle the olive oil over the vegetables and toss to coat. Roast, stirring every 15 minutes, until tender and browned in spots, about 45 minutes.

Remove the vegetables from the oven and discard the thyme sprigs. Transfer the vegetables to a soup pot and add 4 cups of the broth. Using an immersion blender, purée the soup until smooth. Alternately, transfer to a stand blender, puree the soup with the broth in 2 batches, and return to the pot.

Add more broth to thin the soup to the desired consistency. Place over medium-low heat and cook until warmed through, about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a dry frying pan over medium-low heat, sauté the pancetta until crisped and some of the fat is rendered, 12-15 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain.

Ladle the soup into bowls, garnish with a few of the pancetta "croutons," drizzle with olive oil, and serve.

Wine suggestion: a crisp white such as Soave Classico.

  • from:
    Williams-Sonoma Rustic Italian
    Simple, Authentic Recipes for Everyday Cooking
  • by Domenica Marchetti
  • Photography by Maren Caruso
  • Weldon Owen 2011
  • 224 pages; Hardcover; $29.95
  • ISBN-10: 1616281650
  • ISBN-13: 978-1616281656
  • Recipe reprinted by permission.

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Williams-Sonoma Rustic Italian


This page created January 2012

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