It was a red-letter day yesterday. One for the books, one for the diary. For yesterday I made my first-ever exchange of soup for a thing of value.
That thing was a massage, delivered by my lovely and talented friend Ute. And that soup was a pork and roasted vegetable soup, served to Ute and her delightful children by me (though I was pretty much ragdoll-limp and useless after that rubdown).
Up next: guitar lessons? a facial? the water bill? Who knows what I can
sucker someone into trading me convince someone to exchange with me for a potful of sustaining and lovingly handcrafted soup?
Pork and Roasted Vegetable Soup
Serves seven, with two people having seconds and one person (Fisher) having thirds
3 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 medium butternut squash (the neck section works well), peeled and cut into 1/2" chunks
1 medium carrot, ditto
1 turnip, ditto
About a pound of small red-skinned potatoes, unpeeled, halved/quartered/eighthed depending on size
Salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 400. Spread the olive oil on a baking sheet. Add vegetables. Sprinkle with salt and pepper; toss to combine. Roast vegetables for 15 minutes; remove from oven, toss and return to oven. Roast until veggies are tender throughout and browning a bit, about another 15 to 20 minutes. Remove and set aside to cool.
2 lbs pork roast (I used shoulder roast), egregious chunks of fat trimmed away, remainder cut in roughly 3/4" cubes
2 Tbsp olive oil or bacon fat
1 medium onion, chopped
1 rib celery, chopped
2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves
3 Tbsp butter, softened
3 Tbsp flour
6 cups chicken broth
3 Tbsp Dijon or other decent mustard
Salt and pepper
Plenty of fresh parsley, chopped
In a large pan or pot, cook pork over medium heat, turning frequently, until browned on all sides. Remove from pan with a slotted spoon and set aside.
In a large-ish soup pot, heat olive oil or bacon fat over medium-low heat. Add onion, carrots and celery. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are very tender but not browned, 7 to 10 minutes. Add salt, pepper flakes and thyme; cook, stirring, one minute more.
Add chicken broth and browned pork. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat and simmer a good long while until pork is very tender. This will take at least an hour; an hour and a half would be better.
Stir together softened butter and flour until very smooth. Whisk this mixture into the pot, along with mustard. Add reserved roasted vegetables. Increase heat slightly and simmer, uncovered, until soup is slightly thickened.
Taste and add salt and pepper as you see fit. Serve with parsley sprinkled attractively atop.