Thursday, 15 May 2014

Sardinian Penicillin Soup

WOW!!!! I can't believe it took me this long to discover this! Sardinian toasted fregola! Ah-mazing!! I have been to Sardinia a few times but I don't remember having this. Although it is totally possible. There are so many things to eat there.

Fregola is a semolina pasta that is rolled into little balls and toasted. And it's the toasting that makes it out of this world. So much flavour or as my husband said of this soup that I made,  "exploding" with flavour. I really urge you to find in this your local Italian grocery store. I think I'm going to start experimenting with this and make a risotto style dish.

There is nothing more comforting than a bowl of  chicken soup when you are under the weather. Italian and Jewish moms have known this forever. Penicillin chicken noodle soup. That is the first my mother makes when she is not feeling well. Heck, it doesn't even matter if it's 100 degrees outside. As a kid I never appreciated it or believed it, for that matter, but as an adult I find myself doing the same thing. When I do make chicken soup from scratch, I always make sure to freeze some of the broth, for days like these that I need a little comfort food.

But please don't let the lack of homemade chicken broth deter you from making this. I would definitely still make this with a chicken bouillon cube. Maybe use a low sodium version because you will get a lot of salt from the pancetta. Oh, and I also had a little piece of parmesan rind on hand that I slipped in when I  dropped in the fregola in the broth... Did I tell you how good this soup was?!

Toasted Fregola Soup

2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup pancetta, cubed
2 carrots, chopped
3 celery ribs, chopped
1 onion, chopped
4 cups or 1 quart of chicken broth or water if using a chicken bouillon cube
1 cup toasted fregola
Grated Parmesan cheese, to taste

In a large pot, heat the olive oil and fry the pancetta until crispy. Add the carrots, celery and onions and continue cooking a couple of minutes. Don't worry that the vegetables aren't soft because they will cook further with the broth. Pour in the broth or water and bring to a boil. Drop in the fregola. You can add a little water if it gets too thick. It's ready when the fregola is al dente. Serve with parmesan cheese.

m xo

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