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Squash, Pancetta and Chestnut Soup

by Annie Wayte

From the kitchen of the newly opened White Hart Inn with our thanks.

½ stick butter
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 ¼-inch thick slice pancetta, cut into strips
1 stalk celery, halved lengthwise and diced
2 lbs butternut squash, or other winter squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into ½ inch cubes
1 onion finely diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
12 fresh sage leaves, coarsely chopped
10 bottled roasted chestnuts, coarsely chopped
2 ½ cups vegetable stock, chicken stock or water
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
12 parmesan shavings
handful croutons

Melt the butter with the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.

Add the pancetta and celery and sauté for 10 minutes, stirring every so often.

Add the squash, onions, and garlic, and continue to sauté for another 5 minutes.

Stir in the sage and chestnuts, add the stock, season with sea salt and pepper to taste, and bring to a boil

Lower the heat and simmer until the vegetables are tender and the squash has started to collapse, about 15 minutes.

Divide the soup among six individual warmed bowls.

Drizzle a little olive oil over the top of each portion and garnish with the shaved Parmesan.

Offer the croutons on the side. Serve immediately.