No matter how much you enjoy them, there are only so many porchetta sandwiches that you can have in a row before you start wanting something a little different. I still had a large chunk of my porchetta and I was thinking that a creamy porchetta chowder would do the trick. I started out by building up the flavour base with some double smoked bacon and then I moved on to the standard aromatic vegetables including onions, celery and carrots, though for this chowder I left out the carrots as I felt that the orange colour would be a bit bright in the chowder. I wanted the chowder to be creamy without having to rely completely on cream so I went with some simple tricks to add creaminess including pureeing half of the cannellini beans that I was adding and grating a baking potato. (Pureed beans are a great way to add creaminess to any soup and baking potatoes tend to fall apart when boiled for long periods of time so if you help them along by grating them first they will disintegrate quickly and make any soup creamier.) I still wanted to have big chunks of potato in my chowder so I also diced a stewing potato and threw it in along with the porchetta and some herbs and spices.
The porchetta chowder turned out amazingly well! It was certainly decadently creamy and with the large pieces of succulent porchetta every bite was pure indulgence. The chowder was nice tasty and I really enjoyed the combination of textures. I served the porchetta chowder with some braised rapini and cheesy garlic bread .
A creamy chowder filled with porchetta, double smoked bacon, potatoes and cannellini beans.
- 1/2 pound double smoked bacon, cut into small pieces
- 1 cup onion, diced
- 1 cup celery, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1/4 cup white wine
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup milk
- 2 cups ham broth or chicken broth or chicken stock
- 1 large yukon gold or other boiling potato, peeled and cut into bite sized pieces
- 1 large russet or other baking potato, peeled and grated
- 1 (19 ounce) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- 1/2 pound porchetta, cut into bite sized pieces
- 2 teaspoons thyme, chopped
- 2 bay leaves
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 handful parsley, chopped
- Cook the bacon in a large sauce pan until the fat renders and the bacon starts to get crisp, about 7-10 minutes.
- Add the onion and celery and saute until tender, about 7-10 minutes.
- Add the garlic and saute until fragrant, about a minutes.
- Puree half of the beans in a food processor with some of the chicken stock.
- Add the white wine, cream, milk, chicken stock, bacon, beans, potatoes, thyme and bay leaves and bring to a boil.
- Reduce the heat and simmer until the grated potato has dissolved and the diced potato is tender, about 30-40 minutes.
- Season with salt and pepper, mix in the cream and parsley and remove from heat.
- Serve garnished with grainy mustard.