Potato Soup with Pancetta and Gorgonzola
The essentially mild flavor of potatoes makes them a natural to blend with cheeses, especially assertive cheeses like heady Gorgonzola. The bits of pancetta add a smoky note too.
- 1/4 pound pancetta, diced
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 carrot, diced
- 1 celery rib, diced
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 pound Russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch dice
- 4 cups Chicken Stock or purchased stock
- 2 teaspoons fresh thyme or 1/2 teaspoon dried
- 1 cup crumbled Gorgonzola
- 1/2 cup grated fontina
- 1 cup half-and-half
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1. Cook pancetta in a skillet over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, for 4 to 5 minutes, or until browned. Remove pancetta from the pan with a slotted spoon, drain on paper towels, and set aside. Discard all but 3 tablespoons grease from the skillet.
2. Add onion, carrot, celery, and garlic to the skillet, and cook, stirring frequently, for 3 minutes, or until onion is translucent. Scrape mixture into the slow cooker.
3. Add potatoes, stock, and thyme to the slow cooker, and stir well. Cook on Low for 6 to 8 hours or on High for 3 to 4 hours, or until vegetables are tender.
4. If cooking on Low, raise the heat to High. Mash some of vegetables with a potato masher until desired consistency; the more that is mashed the thicker the soup will be. Add Gorgonzola, fontina, and half-and-half, and cook for 20 to 30 minutes, or until cheeses melt and soup simmers. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and serve hot, sprinkling each serving with pancetta.
Note: The soup can be prepared up to 3 days in advance and refrigerated, tightly covered. Reheat it, covered, over low heat, stirring occasionally.
– Substitute Parmesan for the Gorgonzola.
– Add 1/4 cup cloves from Roasted Garlic to the slow cooker.