Tomato and Pancetta Soup


This tasty soup can be as creamy or as chunky as you want it to be. The Pancetta gives it a delightful flavour. It is delicious served with big chunks of Italian bread.

Tomato and Pancetta Soup









Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 40 minutes
Quantity: Serves 6

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175 gm Pancetta, diced small
1 large onion, diced small
100 gm bread, cut thickly and cubed
1 teaspoon chopped garlic
2 tablespoons dry white wine
1 x 400 gm tin diced tomatoes
3 and 1/2 cups stock
pinch sugar
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
Pepper to taste
Salt, only if required



Heat a thick based saucepan for a couple of minutes until it is hot. Reduce heat to medium. Add Pancetta and cook for 5 minutes stirring continuously.

Add onion and cook for about 5 minutes until the onion is changing colour. Add garlic and bread cubes, cook 3 minutes. Add wine to pan and cook briefly to evaporate. Add remaining ingredients and cook gently for 20 minutes over a low heat.

Blend the soup until well combined. For a rustic soup only blend it briefly. If necessary thin down the soup with a little milk. Serves 6



Dry crusty bread is excellent for this recipe. Salt may be unnecessary due to the saltiness of the Pancetta


Food Facts:

Tomatoes first grew as wild cherry sized fruits in the South American Andes but the tomato as we know it today, originates from Mexico. Tomato seeds were taken back to the Mediterranean countries where they quickly became popular. There are now more than 7,000 varieties of tomatoes. Eating tomatoes at least two times per week is now believed to reduce the risk of prostate cancer and to be beneficial in fighting other forms of cancer. The key ingredient in tomatoes is Lycopene which is a carotenoid. Cooking tomatoes, most especially in oil, releases the lycopene making it more available to the body. Tomatoes are also said to be good for the eyes. Tomatoes that are ripened on the vine have far more vitamin C than those that are picked green.

The name Basil comes from the Greek word for King - Basilius. It is thought to have originated in Iran and in India but has spread throughout Asia and also to the Mediterranean, where it is particularly popular in Italian cuisine. It is also a prominent ingredient in Thai cooking. This herb has leaves that can be green, purple or variegated, depending on its variety. Basil is said to have a calming affect on the body, particularly on the digestive system. It is also said to be good for the heart. It improves inflammation and is anti bacterial. Basil is still considered, by prominent chefs and cookery authors, to be the King of Herbs.



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