Potato and Cauliflower Soup with Pancetta Sage Bread Crumbs
This soup is simple and elegant and is a good candidate for a first course at Thanksgiving. The cauliflower lightens the weight of the soup a bit and I chose a gorgeous orange one from the farmers market. This and the Yukon Gold potatoes give the soup its golden hue. You could use the white versions of both, and the soup would just have a lighter tone. I served this with a dry Riesling from Washington, the Chateau St. Michelle 2008, and the elegant peach and citrus fruit character complimented the salty, earthy flavors of the soup well.
Potato and Cauliflower Soup with Pancetta Sage Bread Crumb
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 pounds large Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
1 bunch cauliflower, orange
1 apple, peeled and cubed
3 cups chicken stock
1 cup milk
Salt and freshly ground white pepper
One half a 12-ounce loaf of sourdough bread, crusts removed and bread cut into 1-inch cubes
2 tablespoons butter
2 ounces thinly sliced pancetta, finely chopped (1/4 cup)
2 tablespoons chopped sage
cauliflower and cook over high heat for 10 minutes, stirring frequently.
2. Add the stock and 3 cups of water, cover and bring to a boil. Simmer over moderate heat until all of the vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes.
3. Working in batches, puree the soup until very smooth. Return the puree to the pot and stir in the milk.
4. Season the soup with salt and white pepper. Keep warm.
5. Meanwhile, pulse the bread cubes in a food processor until coarse crumbs form.
6. In a large skillet, melt the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter in the oil.
7. Add the pancetta, sage, rosemary and bread crumbs and cook over moderately high heat, stirring frequently, until the crumbs and pancetta are browned and crisp, about 10 minutes.
8. Drain on paper towels.
9. Ladle the soup into bowls, garnish with the pancetta crumbs and serve.
The soup and crumbs can be refrigerated separately for up to 3 days. Recrisp the crumbs before serving.