Prep 30 mins
Cook 10 mins
This recipe goes back to the 16th century and if it's been around for so long, it must be good. Actually, it's more than that, it's awesomely good! You can see how to prepare it at the following link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1z7ARxw835A It's made with a variety of fresh spring produce and ground veal. If you can't find the fresh ingredients or don't feel like shucking peas you can use them frozen. If you want to make a vegetarian dish, omit the veal and pancetta and replace the meat broth with vegetable broth.
- 2 cups fresh shelled peas (or frozen)
- 2 cups fresh shelled fava beans (or frozen)
- 2 cups minced spring onions (replace with scallions if you can't find them)
- 2 cups asparagus (cut into slices, tips kept whole)
- 2 cups artichokes (chokes cut into eight wedges, stems peeled and chopped) or 2 cups frozen artichoke hearts
- 1 -2 lemon (not needed if using frozen artichokes)
- 1 bowl water (not needed if using frozen artichokes)
- 13 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 5 ounces minced pancetta
- 1⁄2 lb ground veal
- 2 quarts meat broth
- 8 slices stale crusty bread
- 20 sprigs fresh thyme
- 2 garlic cloves (crushed)
- black pepper
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 8 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese (or more)
- See how to prepare dish at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1z7ARxw835A
- If using fresh artichokes, squeeze a lemon (or two) in a bowl of water to keep the artichokes from browning once you've trimmed and cut them.
- Prepare all the vegetables and pancetta as described in the list of ingredients above.
- Heat the broth and bring to a boil.
- Preheat the oven to 430°F
- Sauté the spring onions in the oil over medium heat. Let the onions sweat and become translucent (about 5 minutes). Add the pancetta. Let the fat from the pancetta melt. Turn up heat and add the veal. Let veal cook as you stir. When it is no longer pink you can start adding the vegetables.
- Drain the artichokes from the lemon water they'd been soaking in and add to pot. Stir them in and let them cook for about a minute. Add all the other vegetables and stir them inches Salt.
- Pour the meat broth into the pot and let soup simmer for about 7-10 minutes or until vegetables are just cooked.
- In the meantime prepare the croutons. Cut the bread as instructed in the ingredients and place them in an oven tray. Dress them with the leaves stripped off 7 sprigs of thyme, black pepper (10 turns of pepper mill), 3 Tbs olive oil drizzled over them, 1 tsp salt and garlic and toss. Put in a preheated 430°F oven till croutons get toasted (less than 10 minutes).
- When soup is ready strip the leaves off the rest of the fresh thyme over the pot of soup and black pepper (20 turns of pepper mill). Stir.
- To serve the soup ladle it into a bowl, top with the croutons, 1-2 Tbs grated Parmesan cheese and a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil.
Oh my God, this is amazing. Everyone loved it! I didn't change a thing and I advise others to do the same. Thanks for sharing your fantastic keeper recipe.