Tomato & Guanciale Soup
(Guanciale is cured pig jowl, and I always try to have some on hand, but just in case you don’t you can use bacon and no one will be the wiser.)
Roughly chop your soffrito (celery, carrot, onion, garlic) and add to the soup pot, add the guanciale or bacon and gently simmer. Add a bit of salt, and a few twists of fresh pepper. If the pork is lean, add a bit of olive oil. Once all the vegetables are comfortable, add the can of strained tomatoes and about ½ can of water. Pour water into the tomato can, stir, and get out all the remaining tomato bits and pour into the pot. Cover and cook on low heat for about two hours.
Remove the soup from heat and puree until smooth. Add the half and half and puree until its smoother. Adjust the salt and pepper level. Serve with a few more drips of half & half and a sprinkle of smoked paprika.
Really, its that easy.