Campania’s regional cooking is full of zuppe & minestre. Both mean soup, but like so many foods typical of the region, dishes of the same name vary, from town to town, some using a specific ingredient. Campania cooking is also unique in its use of a variety of herbs & greens that grow wild in the fields.
1 Scraped carrot
1 Celery stalk
1 Peeled garlic clove
1 Peeled onion
10 Sprigs of parsley
6 Sprigs of sage
2oz/60g Pancetta or prosciutto cut in very small pieces
2 fl oz/60ml Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1oz/30g Unsalted butter
Salt & freshly ground pepper
Large pinch of chilli flakes
1lb/450g Potatoes, peeled, cut into small cubes, & left soaking in a bowl of water
40 fl oz/1.5L of chicken or vegetable broth
6 Thick slices of sourdough bread lightly toasted
Sprigs of sage on top
Finely chop the carrot, celery,garlic, onion, parsley all together on a chopping board. Mix the pancetta with the chopped vegetables.
Place a medium sized casserole containing the oil & butter over a medium heat. When the butter is almost melted, add the vegetable mixture & sauté until the onion is translucent. Season with salt, pepper & chilli flakes.
Drain the potatoes & add them to the casserole. Saute for 5 minutes stirring often.
Add 8 fl oz/250ml of the broth & simmer for 5 minutes. Add the remaining broth & simmer until the potatoes are soft and about to crumble. Taste for salt & pepper.
When ready to serve, place the toasted bread in individual soup bowls, ladle the potato soup on top and let the soup rest for a few minutes before serving it with a sage sprig in each bowl.