Italian Regional Recipes Primi Piatti: Pasta, Rice, Soups

Mushroom and Guanciale Soup

An intense flavoured mushroom soup in which Guanciale, an Italian cured pork jowl well known for being one the key ingredients in the famous Carbonara pasta-alla-carbonara, adds just the right amount of sapidity and a crispy touch. All types of mushrooms are recommended, even bagged ones work fine if you can’t find them fresh.

Take a look here for more info on the Italian Guanciale guanciale-italian-cured-pork-jowl. And if you feel like making it yourself, follow this recipe by www.thecraftcookhouse.com and take a look at his video on how to make it at home: View: https://youtu.be/DSq-ImMN1Pk . You’ll be amazed.


Serves 4, Preparation approx. 20 mins, Cooking approx. 30 mins

  • Champignon mushroom or mixed mushroom: 700 g
  • 1 litre hot vegetable broth (from scratch or using a stock cube)
  • 60 g Italian Guanciale (cured pork jowl)
  • Mixed herbs: 1 rosemary sprig, 2 sage leaves and 1 bay leaf
  • a clove of garlic
  • 1 sliced red onion
  • EVOO – Extra Virgin Olive Oil, 3 tablespoons
  • A tablespoon of tomato paste in a tube or a couple of ripe cherry tomatoes
  • Ground Black Pepper, a pinch

Method

You can make vegetable stock from scratch or simply heat water to the boil and dissolve in a vegetable stock cube.

If you use fresh mushrooms, better avoid to wash them under running water – fresh mushrooms contain a lot of water – just wipe them with a damp cloth or damp paper towel. We have used the champignons, which often have some soil stuck to their stalks, just cut away the tough final part of them, cut mushroom into slices or halves, depending on their size.

Cut Guanciale into strips not too thin. Heat a saucepan and brown them well without adding oil or other fats as the characteristic of Guanciale is that its fat will melt and that’s all you need. Set aside.

In a frying pan or crock-pot heat two tablespoons of EVOO, brown the sliced onion with a clove of garlic and the herbs for a few minutes. Add a little broth if necessary. Add mushrooms, fry them on a high flame for 1 minute, cover with the hot broth, add a tbsp of tomato paste or cherry tomatoes, a pinch of black pepper and slowly add the melted fat of Guanciale previously toasted along with some strips. Stir, remove the aromatic herbs and cook everything for about 10 minutes over a medium heat.

Tip: we have not added salt because of the sufficient savouriness given by Guanciale, however just taste and adjust according to your personal tastebuds.

Serve the soup by adding the rest of crispy Guanciale and serve.

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