As always, some of the best dishes come from trying to use up leftovers. I’ve been on a carrot kick. I like them. I want to love them, but they tend to go bad before I can finish them. I was determined not to let that happen this time!
- ¼ pound pancetta, cubed
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus about a spoonful to garnish
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
- 1 sprig fresh thyme (or 1 teaspoon dried thyme)
- 2 bunches of carrots (approx 1.5 to 2 pounds), peeled and chopped
- 3 cups chicken or vegetable stock
- 2 cups cooked Rancho Gordo Mayocoba beans or Cassoulet (plus 1 cup of bean broth)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Chopped fresh parsley
- In a large pot, cook the pancetta in 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat until cooked through and chewy, about 7–10 minutes. Keep stirring so that the pieces don’t burn. Remove the pancetta and reserve, leaving the oil in the hot pan. Add the onion, garlic, thyme and carrots and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the chicken stock, taking care to scrape any caramelized bits off the bottom of the pot, and stir to incorporate them into the liquid. Continue cooking for 10 minutes.
- Add the beans and the broth to the carrot mixture. Stir well and then puree them with an immersion blender or in batches in a blender, taking care not to overfill the blender jar with hot liquid. You can also puree without the beans and add them later if you want more texture to your soup. Cook the blended soup for another 10 minutes over medium-low heat. Check for seasoning, noting that the pancetta can be salty and possibly your cooked beans as well.
- Serve sprinkled with the reserved pancetta, chopped parsley and drizzled with extra-virgin olive oil.