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Potato, leek and fennel soup with crispy pancetta

Servings: 6

Ready time: 55 minutes

Soup

2 tablespoons butter or olive oil

1 small yellow onion, chopped (about ¾ cup)

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 medium leeks (white part only), sliced (about 2 cups)

1 Royal Gala apple, peeled, cored and chopped

1 fennel bulb, chopped (about 2 cups)

1½ tablespoons chopped fresh dill

6 cups chicken stock

3 small Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and chopped

Garnish

1/3 French baguette, cut into ½-inch pieces

1½ tablespoons olive oil

6 thin slices pancetta

Avocado oil (optional)

Method

In a large pot, melt butter or olive oil over medium-high heat.

Add onion and garlic and sauté until translucent (about 3 minutes).

Add leeks, apple, fennel and dill and cook until softened (about 5 to 6 minutes).

Add chicken stock and potatoes.

Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are cooked through (about 20 minutes).

Meanwhile, pre-heat oven to 375 F.

Toss baguette pieces with olive oil and spread on a baking sheet.

On another baking sheet lined with parchment paper, lay out pancetta slices in a single layer. Place both baking sheets in the oven and cook until croutons are toasted and pancetta is crispy (about 8 to 10 minutes).

Remove from oven and set aside. When soup is cooked, purée using an immersion hand blender.

Season with salt and pepper. Ladle into bowls, topping each with croutons, a slice of pancetta and a drizzle of avocado oil.

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