Monday, October 19, 2009

comfort food: The Soup

whenever the week gets hectic and we need something hearty and comforting to fall back upon (and last us two days), at our house, i turn to what we affectionately call The Soup. it was great during my Summer of No Kitchen and it's great even if you have an indoor 6-burner 2-oven smeg stove. hearty enough to be a meal in and of itself, it's one of the essential comfort and convenience foods in our home.

The Soup

500 grams (1 pound) ground pork
assorted fresh (or dried) herbs - thyme, sage, oregano, parsley - chopped finely
chili powder to taste (can be left out if children prefer it without)
1 medium onion, diced
3-4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 good quality vegetable bouillon cube
1 can good quality tomatoes
1.5 liters of water
4-5 medium potatoes, peeled and grated
1 package frozen spinach
salt & pepper to taste

brown the pork, then add the onions and garlic and continue to sauté until softened and fragrant. add the chopped herbs, chili and the bouillon cube. add the can of tomatoes and the water. i generally boil the kettle and add hot water to speed the cooking process, it also helps to add the grated potato to hot water, as it stops it from going brown. i tend to grate the potatoes directly into the pot, but if you're lucky enough to live a place where you can buy frozen hashbrowns, they're very convenient and you can use them. we just don't happen to have them in denmark, so i grate fresh potatoes. add the frozen spinach. you can also use fresh spinach, but since you're going to simmer for at least an hour, frozen is just as good and a lot less work.

it's ready to eat after about an hour. and we serve it with a good dollop of creme fraiche (sour cream) or thick greek yogurt and a good loaf of bread. it makes a meal. i also add a spoonful of chiu chow chili oil (a chinese condiment which i highly recommend for its heat and slightly smoky flavor - look for it in an asian market) to give it extra kick (especially on the occasions when i leave out the chili for sabin's sake) and because i'm a bit addicted to chili.

i can also see from my photo that i added a can of beans on that occasion to make it even heartier, so you can do that as well, but i don't do it every time, it's really a matter of what you feel like. i've also read that you shouldn't reheat spinach (something about the nitrates), but i'll admit here and now that we reheat it the next day every single time we make the dish and have never had a problem. it tastes even more delicious on the second day, when the flavors have had a chance to meld. it's really the perfect dinner on a busy, autumn day.


Tracy Golightly-Garcia said...

Thanks for sharing your recipe--I will be making this soup sometime this week. During the cold months we eat a lot of soup in my home--I agree, soup is a comfort food--a very good one at that!

Tarcy :)

MissBuckle said...

Yum! I´m definitely making this. So easy.

Elizabeth said...

Nothing better than a soup no matter what time of day.

Anne said...

Grated potato! Very interesting. Do you recommend a particular type of potato (e.g. baking or boiling)? If I get spinach in my CSA share on Thursday, The Soup is going on the menu for the next week.

Love that pot, by the way. I have it in cream (or "dune," I suppose, is the official color) and it is hands down my favorite piece of cookware.

Char said...

sounds very delish. I love grated potato in soup

christina said...

oh yes, this is love!

Bee said...

I'm very intrigued by the recipe. Even though we are big soup eaters -- and we are having black bean soup tonight, btw -- this one isn't in my repertoire.

My Le Creuset (green; massive) has been in use all weekend. I like your orange-red one!

Michelle said...

...and I have the bright blue Le Crueset. "The Soup" was also submitted by Julochka for a v. special birthday present of friends' recipes and memories. Thanks Julochka! I made the soup last night - very tasty! I subbed ground pork for sausage (mistake - not much oomph) and broccoli for spinach (went pale green ooops). Other than that it was very good - we'll do it again!


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