Thyme infused broad bean soup with crispy smoked pancetta
This is a delicious, creamy soup made using frozen broad (fava) beans. The subtle, smoky flavour of the pancetta really comes through and the crispy bits give a nice crunchiness to the dish. It is simply delicious at any time but would make a lovely starter for when you have guests over.
Cooking time: 25-30 minutes
Portions: serves 4
Heat the butter and olive oil in a large, heavy-based saucepan set over a medium–high heat. Add a third of the pancetta, and all the onion, celery, garlic and thyme, and sweat for 5 minutes. Stir in the broad beans and potato, then pour in the stock, and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat, cover with a lid and simmer for about 10–12 minutes, until the beans and potatoes are cooked. Remove from the heat and allow to cool a little. Meanwhile, add a splash of extra-virgin olive oil to a small frying pan (skillet) set over a medium heat. Add the remaining pancetta and stir-fry until nice and crispy. Set aside. Transfer the slightly cooled soup to a blender or food processor and blend until smooth (you may need to do this in 2 batches). Return it to the saucepan and gently reheat, if necessary. Divide among individual bowls, sprinkle with the crispy pancetta and garnish with thyme leaves to serve.