Pancetta Scallops w. Broccoli Soup
Cook Time: ~20 Minutes
This recipe is borrowed from Tom Kitchin, a Scottish-born Michelin star chef and the country’s youngest to ever receive the award. The salty pancetta and delicate scallops pair incredibly well accompanied by two variants of broccoli; a subtle crunch of tenderstem and a shallow layer of soup. Kitchin’s recipe blitzes the soup to a finer texture than mine as I am armed only with a hand blender. If you have more powerful blending equipment you should have a soup that is perfectly smooth. But a little rustic never hurt anyone. Think of this not as a deep bowl of soup, but rather as a light garnish of soup.
I would recommend visiting your local fishmonger and sourcing the fattest fresh scallops you can find. The ones I had available when recording this recipe were smaller.
Time: ~20 Minutes
Information - What you require
• Scallops (8 to 12)
• Pancetta rashers (one for each scallop)
• 150g tenderstem broccoli
• 800g regular broccoli
• One large white onion
• Two cloves of garlic
• Extra virgin olive oil
• Ground black pepper & salt
Optional Ingredients & Notes
• Seasoning the Soup: I would highly recommend seasoning the life out of your broccoli soup, as it can come out bland otherwise. Tom’s recipe calls for water as the base, but for additional flavour, I might be inclined to use chicken or vegetable stock instead.
• One small pan
• Two large pots
• Hand blender or traditional blender
Mise En Place - Food preparation
Slice garlic and onions finely. Remove the woody stems of the tenderstem broccoli. Cut the regular broccoli into florets and chop the stems. Wash and dry the scallops (this will help the pancetta stick) and then wrap each in one strip of pancetta and season with ground black pepper (the rashers will take care of the salt).
First, bring a pot of salted water (1.5 litres) to a boil and throw in 800g of broccoli florets and stems and let boil for ~3-5 minutes until partially cooked. Meanwhile, grab a second pot, splash in olive oil, throw in your onions with salt & pepper and shallow fry for two minutes before adding garlic and frying for another minute. Once the onions begin to soften, pour the broccoli and water into the pot with the onions.
Now cook until the broccoli is tender, which should take a further 3-5 minutes. Transfer the contents of the pot to a food processor or use a hand blender and blitz until smooth before seasoning to taste.
Next, grab a small pan, apply olive oil, bring it to a high heat and fry the pancetta-wrapped scallops for 1 minute 30 seconds on each side. After turning the scallops for the first time, add the tenderstem broccoli to develop a crisp (they burn very easily on high heat, so ~1 minute in the pan is all they need). Dry the excess oil from the scallops once cooked.
To serve, ladle a shallow layer of broccoli soup into a dish, followed by the placement of your scallops, tenderstem broccoli, freshly ground black peppercorns, and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.
If you do attempt this dish, please let me know how it goes, and if you variate the recipe in any way. Also, this newsletter relies upon word of mouth, so if you feel you know someone who would enjoy this publication please share it.
Thanks for reading,