I definitely prefer creamy soups more than anything but even though this particular soup wasn’t made to have that kind of consistency, I absolutely loved it. It had more of a minestrone texture, which was fitting to the recipe with the chunks of tomatoes, fatty pancetta, and soaked up bread. A lot of the reviewers for this recipe made some modifications by adding tomato paste or omitting the bread but I liked it just the way it was. It was very flavorful and paired well with a simple panini made with the leftover pesto from the Gnocchi with Spring Herb Pesto of Baby Arugula and Basil, mozzarella, tomatoes, and fresh basil leaves.

Tomato Soup with Pancetta (adapted from Giada De Laurentiis):

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 3 ounces pancetta, chopped
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 slices rustic rye bread, cubed
  • 3 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes with juices
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Pinch red pepper flakes
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons mascarpone cheese (can substitute with cream cheese)
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream

Heat the oil in a heavy large pot over medium heat. Add the pancetta and saute until crisp and golden, about 5 minutes.

Add the onion and saute until tender, about 3 minutes.

Add the bread and toss to coat with the pan drippings. Saute until the bread is crisp and golden, about 5 minutes.

Add the broth, tomatoes, basil, oregano, and crushed red pepper. Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low.

Cover and simmer until the flavors blend, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Stir the mascarpone and sour cream in a small bowl to blend. Ladle the soup into bowls. Spoon a dollop of the mascarpone mixture atop the soup and serve immediately.