Portobello, Pancetta & Mascarpone Soup
Makes 6-8 servings.
- 4 Tbsp. unsalted butter, divided
- 8 oz. pancetta, diced
- 4 leeks (white and light green parts only), well washed and thinly sliced
- Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 2 (5") Portobello mushroom caps, stemmed and chopped
- 3 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
- 2 Tbsp. sherry (optional)
- 2 c. low-sodium chicken broth
- 1/2 c. half-and-half
- 4 oz. mascarpone
- 4 oz. Joan of Arc® Goat Cheese with Garlic & Herbs
Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the pancetta and cook until browned, 5–8 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon to a plate. To the saucepan, add 1/2 tablespoon butter, 1 cup of the leeks, and salt and pepper to taste. Cook 4 minutes, then remove to the plate; set aside.
Add the remaining 1-1/2 tablespoons butter, leeks, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste to the pan; cook until wilted, about 3 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook 3 minutes. Sprinkle in the flour and cook, stirring constantly, 2 minutes. If desired, stir in 2 tablespoons sherry, scraping up any browned bits with a wooden spoon and cooking until the sherry evaporates. Add the broth and 2 cups water. Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, until the mushrooms are tender, 8–10 minutes.
Puree the soup in batches in a blender until smooth. Return to the pot, whisk in the half and half, mascarpone and goat cheese, and bring just to below a boil. Stir in three-quarters of the pancetta-leek mixture, then portion the soup into bowls, topping it with a bit of the remaining pancetta-leek mixture.
This dish can be made ahead of time and reheated when needed. It can also be frozen for up to a month in a sealed airtight container.
There are few things as comforting as creamy mushroom soup. Sweet mascarpone heightens the richness and gives this soup a luxurious texture, and pancetta crisps lend a subtle and inviting saltiness to each bite.
Change up the dish by adding grilled chicken. Instead of pancetta, you can also use ham or bacon.
This dish is best served during the cold fall and winter months.