Feb 29
2012

French Onion & Endive Soup Recipe with Pancetta

French-Onion-&-Endive-Soup-Recipe-with-Pancetta-Cookin-Canuck

Before jumping into the French Onion & Endive Soup recipe (with my favorite pairing of pancetta), I want to sincerely thank each and every one of you who left comments and sent me emails and tweets after I posted My Health & Weight Loss Journey: Before & After Photos. Your support and kind comments, as well as the personal stories that some of you shared, made the whole experience of posting my journey so worthwhile.

Part of sticking with a healthy eating lifestyle is using a variety of ingredients to keep the meals interesting. Endive is one of those vegetables that recently took a place in our repertoire. Ever since I became a part of the OnDiva team with Discover Endive, I gained a new appreciation for the health benefits of this power-packed vegetable, which can easily be tossed into salads or cooked down to mellow the distinctive flavor.

Earlier this month, Rachael of La Fujimama put together a video of all the OnDiva bloggers. We each talked about about our favorite pairings with endive. They range from avocados to Gruyere cheese. What is my favorite pairing for endive? You guessed it – pancetta.

Pancetta is an Italian bacon that is cured with salt and seasoned with various spices such as garlic, fennel and peppercorns. I find the easiest way to cook pancetta is to chop it and throw it into a pan set over medium-high heat. In this recipe, a small amount of the pancetta drippings is combined with olive oil and used to saute the sliced onions and endive. The crumbled, cooked pancetta is stirred into the vegetables for a comforting, flavorful base for a take on French onion soup.

When I talked about moderation in my weight loss post, this is exactly what I meant. Is pancetta a healthy ingredient? Of course not. But there’s nothing wrong with using a small amount of a flavor-packed ingredient to add a salty, savory touch to a dish. The extra fat in French onion soup typically comes from the cheese-laden crouton on top. I tried to lower the potential calorie damage by using a whole wheat bread and using a mere tablespoon of cheese. Let me tell you, I didn’t miss the extra cheese. The flavor of the endive, onions and rich broth saw to that.

The recipe:
Cut eat onion in half through the root, peel and thinly slice. Cut each head of endive in half lengthwise and thinly slice crosswise.

OnionEndiveSoup1

Heat a large saucepan over medium-high heat and add the chopped pancetta. Cook until golden brown. Remove the pancetta with a slotted spoon and drain on a paper towel.

OnionEndiveSoup2

Discard all but 1 teaspoon of the pancetta, add 1 teaspoon olive oil and set the saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.

Add onions and endive and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are very soft and light golden brown.

Reduce heat to medium heat and cook until the onions and endive are golden brown, about 15 minutes

OnionEndiveSoup3

Add the wine and balsamic vinegar and stir until most of the liquid is absorbed, about 3 minutes. Add the beef broth, bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer about 20 minutes. Stir in the cooked pancetta.

Place the baguette slices on a cookie sheet and toast in a 350 degree oven for about 5 minutes.

Preheat the broiler. Ladle the soup into ovenproof bowls and top each with 1 baguette slices and 1 tablespoon cheese.

OnionEndiveSoup5

Broil until the cheese is bubbling and slightly brown. Serve.

OnionEndiveSoup6

Other endive recipes with pancetta or bacon:
All Day I Dream About Food’s Bacon, Gruyere & Endive Quiche
Dawn Viola’s Citrus-Braised Endive with Pancetta
Savour Fare’s Endive & Bacon Salad
Souffle Bombay’s Endive with Sweet Potato, Bacon & Chives

French Onion & Endive Soup Recipe with Pancetta

Yield: Serves 4

From the kitchen of Cookin Canuck. www.cookincanuck.com

Ingredients

  • 2 oz. pancetta, chopped
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 cups thinly sliced onions
  • 2 heads Belgian endive, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 4 1/2 cups canned low-fat beef broth
  • 4 large baguette slices (preferably whole wheat)
  • 1/4 cup (packed) grated white cheddar cheese

Instructions

  1. Heat a large saucepan over medium-high heat and add the chopped pancetta. Cook until golden brown. Remove the pancetta with a slotted spoon and drain on a paper towel.
  2. Discard all but 1 teaspoon of the pancetta, add 1 teaspoon olive oil and set the saucepan over medium-high heat.
  3. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  4. Add onions and endive and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are very soft and light golden brown.
  5. Reduce heat to medium heat and cook until the onions and endive are golden brown, about 15 minutes.
  6. Add the wine and balsamic vinegar and stir until most of the liquid is absorbed, about 3 minutes. Add the beef broth, bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer about 20 minutes. Stir in the cooked pancetta.
  7. Place the baguette slices on a cookie sheet and toast in a 350 degree oven for about 5 minutes.
  8. Preheat the broiler. Ladle the soup into ovenproof bowls and top each with 1 baguette slices and 1 tablespoon cheese. Broil until the cheese is bubbling and slightly brown. Serve.

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{ 36 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Blog is the New Black February 29, 2012 at 3:36 am

FOS = a FAVORITE in this house! YUM!

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2 chefblogdigest February 29, 2012 at 5:02 am

This definitely delicious!

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3 Alex@Spoonful of Sugar Free February 29, 2012 at 6:05 am

Wow, love this!!! I’ve never made this kind of onion soup before….but I love french onion. Surely I will like this.

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4 Emilie @ Emilie's Enjoyables February 29, 2012 at 6:52 am

I need to get some cute little soup ramekins to make this with!!

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5 Jen at The Three Little Piglets February 29, 2012 at 7:00 am

I love that you’ve added endive to it and gone easy on the cheese. I bet the smell is tremendous as it cooks!

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6 kelley February 29, 2012 at 7:14 am

As much as I love cheese it’s my least favorite part of traditional french onion soup. I’d gladly slurp up a bowl of this sans the bread and cheese. I love the addition of pancetta and endive, this looks perfect for a winters night dinner!

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7 Barbara @ Barbara Bakes February 29, 2012 at 7:22 am

A great soup. Love the little red crocks.

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8 Bev Weidner February 29, 2012 at 7:54 am

I just fell out of my chair.

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9 Laurie @SimplyScratch February 29, 2012 at 8:17 am

Love this version Dara… and those little pots!

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10 Lauren February 29, 2012 at 8:55 am

LOVE french onion soup!! Like, love love love it!!

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11 Cassie February 29, 2012 at 9:21 am

Endive…what a brilliant addition to onion soup! It’s definitely one of my favorite soups! Love this, Dara.

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12 elizabeth @ chronic venture February 29, 2012 at 9:31 am

yumm, love this different twist on french onion soup! it is on the list to try soon!!

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13 Maria February 29, 2012 at 10:51 am

Perfect soup for the snow that is coming! Love the red dishes too:)

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14 Bri February 29, 2012 at 12:24 pm

Perfect for a Spring thunderstorm since KS has skipped winter. Can’t wait to use it!

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15 Alison @ Ingredients, Inc. February 29, 2012 at 1:14 pm

omg just lovely and fabulous

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16 Sally February 29, 2012 at 2:18 pm

I’m behind. I wanted to comment on your last post and congratulate you on your hard work. Phew! a punishing exercise routine. But good for you! It gives all of us a boost and a kick in the butt inspiration. Huge accomplishment, Dara

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17 Yadsia @ShopCookMake February 29, 2012 at 4:06 pm

i’m dying to try this.

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18 Lana @ Never Enough Thyme February 29, 2012 at 6:00 pm

What a creative new way with onion soup, Dara! Looks fabulous.

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19 Kimby February 29, 2012 at 8:18 pm

Dara, I like your philosophy re: pancetta and moderation. Happy eaters are satisfied eaters!

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20 Dianne@Maids February 29, 2012 at 10:17 pm

haha! your welcome dear wer always here to support ya! aja!
this panchetta of your is really looks delicious thats why im always here to read your blog and try it for my family.
we shall be thankful for sharing this recipe of yours :x ..

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21 Sara{OneTribeGourmet} March 1, 2012 at 6:01 am

I’m a huge fan of French onion Soup and I love your addition of Endive and Pancetta! Delish!

P.S. You look Mahvelous Dahling! :) xx

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22 Julia {The Roasted Root} March 1, 2012 at 9:10 am

My mom used to make French Onion soup on cold winter days so I have fond memories of this dish. Adding pancetta and endives is brilliant – we’re snowed in right now, so next big trip to the store will definitely call for hearty soup ingredients. Thanks!

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23 MikeVFMK March 1, 2012 at 8:32 pm

Uhm. Yum!! Love me some french onion soup and the addition of endive is just genius!!

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24 Baker Street March 1, 2012 at 11:14 pm

adding endive is pure genius! your bowl of soup looks so inviting.

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25 Shoshanna Lee March 2, 2012 at 8:56 am

I’ve always made regular tomato soup without much experimentation, but this looks fantastic! Loved the presentation Dara. I’m already feeling hungry :p

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26 Feast on the Cheap March 2, 2012 at 9:22 am

Oh yes please. Everything’s better with pancetta. What a great rendition – wanna bring some over for lunch?

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27 Megan Pence @CountryCleaver March 2, 2012 at 9:38 am

Oh my gosh, Dara. This looks absolutely divine. *jaw dropped*

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28 naomi March 2, 2012 at 11:35 am

I need a few bowls of this! Pancetta in onion soup? Yes, I think I will. Endive? Yes, to that as well!

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29 Alison @ Ingredients, Inc. March 2, 2012 at 3:56 pm

too pretty and delish for words!

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30 Kelsey March 3, 2012 at 1:01 pm

A delicious looking soup! I’ve loved reading about your weight loss journey – you are an inspiration and you look AMAZING! Brava!

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31 Cooking on a Dime March 3, 2012 at 2:52 pm

Oh wow! This looks amazing, I will definitely have to try making this soup!

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32 Frank March 4, 2012 at 8:56 am

I like the idea of combining the sweet taste of caramelized onion and the slight bitter taste of endive. I’m sure they balance each other beautifully!

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33 Amber | Bluebonnets & Brownies March 4, 2012 at 6:58 pm

I never would have thought to put endive in soup, but I bet it’s fabulous. I can just taste it!

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34 Krista March 4, 2012 at 8:12 pm

Oh dear me. That looks like a soup that could melt the snow right from under your feet! Delicious!

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35 Jackie Thompson March 6, 2012 at 5:23 pm

This looks positively delicious. I recently tried endive for the first time this year and it’s delicious. Glad to know it’s so good for you too.

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36 bridget {bake at 350} March 8, 2012 at 4:22 pm

Looks incredible, Dara! I am loving endive right now!!!

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