Onion and Pancetta Soup


4 ounces pancetta slices, rinds removed, roughly chopped [I used exactly what the recipe called for and I believe after eating it – it should be doubled.]
2 tablespoons olive oil [I used EVOO]
1 tablespoon butter
5 1/2 cups finely sliced onions
2 teaspoons sugar
about 1 1/14 quarts chicken stock
2 1/2 cups peeled and roughly chopped Italian plum tomatoes [I used 3 cups. I think it needed 2 tablespoons of tomato paste to actually make it a little more ‘tomato-y’]
a few fresh basil leaves, shredded
salt and black pepper [I did not use any]
grated Parmesan cheese, to serve [It needs to be parmesan cheese because of the acid level of the onions and tomatoes, to even it out]

1.  Put the chopped pancetta in a large saucepan and heat slowly, stirring constantly, until the fat runs.  Increase the heat to medium.  Add the oil, butter, onions, and sugar and stir well to mix. [I think this is too long to cook the pancetta, maybe little less time because by the time it is cooked in the soup it is crumbly bits which are not really appetizing.]

2.  Half-cover the pan and cook the onions slowly for about 20 minutes until golden: Stir frequently and lower the heat if necessary.

3.  Add the stock, tomatoes, and salt and pepper and bring to a boil, stirring.  Lower the heat, half-cover the pan, and simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 30 minutes.

4.  Check the consistency of the soup and add a little more stock or water if it is too thick.

5.  Just before serving, stir in most of the basil and adjust the seasoning to taste.  Serve hot, garnish with the remaining shredded basil. Hand around the freshly grated Parmesan separately for sprinkling over each portion.

Makes 9 measured cups

The recipe definitely is missing something a little more substance or something.  According to the pictures it is a dark reddish-brown when completed and mine came out yellowy white so something is off or not quite right.  From what I can tell by making it and eating it – more pancetta and maybe add some tomato paste to bring the tomato flavor in more.

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