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Potato, Leek & Broccoli Soup w/ Pancetta Bread Crumbs & Parsnip Bacon

January 2, 2011 No Comments by CFMcG
This dish is a combination of two recipes I found in the 2010 Holiday issue of Food & Wine Magazine, a warm vichyssoise garnished with toasted pancetta bread crumbs & Quinn Hatfield’s parsnip bacon.  Both are relatively easy to make, especially with an immersion blender for the soup v. a blender or food processor and can be prepared ahead of time for a multi-course meal.
Here are the recipes for both the soup and the bacon, but note my small modifications to each below:
    • Small Leeks seem rare in NYC groceries such as Whole Foods, so I used 3 medium to large sized leeks
    • You can reduce the number of potatoes to lighten the viscosity of the soup if you like
    • This recipe alleges service for 12, but these ratios can serve 20+ cups with ease – or maybe 12 very large bowls
    • I used an Apple Smoked Sea Salt for this recipe found at Kalustyan’s
    • The bacon will come out looking much darker and more like bacon than as pictured in the Food & Wine recipe, but don’t be alarmed

Ingredients for the soup

Softening the potatoes, leeks and broccoli is strenuous work, even with a very large pot, say 10 qt.  You must stir continuously to not over brown the vegetables.

After adding the stock, your pot will be quite full.  Be careful when using an immersion blender or transferring to blend/puree.  And if you’re timing your presentation together with the bacon, you’ll probably remove it from the oven around this time to look something like this:

Parsnip Bacon out of the Oven

Now finally a tip for plating the soup – which I realized after setting the service shown below.  You can spoon in half of your bread crumbs in a semi-circle to the soup, position the bacon upright, and then set it by spooning on the rest of your bread crumbs.  These should help hold the bacon strips in place and give vertical depth to your presentation.

Final plating of Potato, Leek & Broccoli Soup w/ Pancetta Bread Crumbs and Parsnip Bacon

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