Tag Archives: pancetta

Food Matters Project #13: Asparagus & White Bean Soup

Yes, it’s another Monday and a new Food Matter Project recipe!  Since we were visiting friends in Boston this weekend (check out our Sam Adams Brewery tour), we actually made this soup last week.  It was easy to make and very delicious!

This weeks recipe was chosen by Adrienne, of Adrienneats.  She chose the Roasted Asparagus and White Bean Soup with Parmesan from Mark Bittman’s The Food Matters Cookbook.  Check out what others did here, scroll down to the comments.

This was a great soup- the beans made it very filling and gave this soup lots of flavor.  Since I was trying to use up some other produce in our fridge, I added extra veggies- so definitely feel free to swap or add more.

I can’t seems to stop buying asparagus at our Penn Quarter Farmer’s Market- this last week I walked away with 3 bunches!  The farmer selling it was wondering what I was going to do with so much (but that’s for another post)!

Remember: when buying asparagus look for firm stalks with purple tinge tips.  The ends of the stems should be fresh and moist.  It should be used soon after buying, but if it needs to stay in the fridge for a couple of days then cut off about 1 inch from the base and set the asparagus bunch upright in a container filled with some water (up to 4 days).

Asparagus and White Bean Soup
Adapted from: The Food Matters Cookbook (page 110)

Mark Bittman suggests puréeing the soup, to make it smoother- if you prefer chunkier soups, feel free to omit this step.  I soaked and cooked dry beans, but canned beans will also work great.

2 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
4 oz pancetta, chopped
3 carrots, peeled & chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tsp fresh thyme
1/2 cup dry white wine (recommend: Bogle Chardonnay)
2 Yukon gold potatoes, peeled & chopped
6 cups chicken or veggie stock
2 cups of water
1 1/2 cups of cooked cannellini beans
1 1/2 cups of cooked navy beans
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 lb asparagus
2 oz Parmesan cheese, shredded

Heat up the olive oil in a large soup pot.  Once the olive oil is warm, add the onion.  Sauté for up to 5 minutes, when the onions become translucent.  Then add the pancetta, sauté until the meat starts to brown.  Add the carrot, garlic and thyme, allow to cook for another 2 minutes.  Then add the white wine, stir to loosen the vegetable and pancetta pieces.

While stirring add the potatoes, stock and water.  Bring the soup to a boil, then simmer for 20-30 minutes.  Stir infrequently until the potatoes have cooked (should be soft when you stick a fork into them).

Add in the beans, and cook for another 10-15 minutes.  Season the soup with 1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp of pepper.  Finally, puree about half of the soup in a food processor, mix both halves together.

Preheat the oven to 400ºF.  Meanwhile, put the asparagus on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil, 1/2 tsp of salt and 1/2 tsp of pepper.  Roast for about 15 minutes, or when the asparagus begins to brown.

Pour soup into a bowl, dress it with pieces of asparagus and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese.

Green Pea & Pancetta Linguine

We had a busy and exciting weekend.  My friend B* from Boston came to visit, and there were also friends from different places which were visiting D.C.  Some of the girls and I ran the Susan B. Komen 5K race.  It’s a great cause to support, although this isn’t my favorite running race.  I enjoy the company and support the cause.  In a running race aspect- it’s a bit crowded, so you just have to relax and enjoy the sights.

Whenever a group of us gets to spend time together, it reminds me to all of our fun days in undergrad.  It’s wonderful to know that the strength of the bonds we have made many years ago is still there.  It’s interesting to think that we spend only a few years getting to know each other.  And then everyone scatters all over- really all over.  It’s wonderful to know that great friendships can sustain the long distance!

But onto food!  We made this last weekend actually, when we didn’t have visitors.  Although I really do say this about many recipes, this one is easy and can be made under 30 minutes.  Talk about a time saver with a delicious meal waiting for you.

Green Pea & Pancetta Linguine
Adapted from: Cooking Light (April 2011)

Servings: 4
Time: 30 minutes

3 tbsp olive oil
3 oz pancetta, chopped
3 shallots, finely chopped
2 lbs frozen green peas
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 tsp dried thyme
1/2 lb linguine pasta
1 tbsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 cup Parmesan-Reggiano cheese, grated

Heat skillet over medium heat, add 1 tbsp olive oil.  Add the chopped pancetta and cook for about 10 minutes or until browned and crispy, stirring occasionally.  Remove pancetta from the pan, and put in a bowl on the side.  Leave the drippings, and add the shallots into the heated pan.  Cook for about 4-5 minutes, until they are tender, also stirring occasionally.  Then add the peas and garlic, cook for 1 minute.  Next, add wine and thyme.  Increase the heat to medium and bring liquids to a boil.  Cook until the liquid reduced (about 5 minutes).  Then remove from heat.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta per package directions.  Drain the pasta.

Finally, add the pasta, 2 tbsp of olive oil, salt, black pepper and pancetta to the pea mixture.  Toss well.  Divide the pasta into 4 servings.  Sprinkle cheese onto each serving.