Tuesday, January 28, 2014

SPICY PORK SOUP WITH KALE and RICE NOODLES


2014 is a BIG year for me. My cookbook - that has felt a lot like a third child with a 30 month gestation - will finally be in stores this August. Just last week, I was in NY meeting with my incredible editor and friend, Elissa Altman, talking about the book, making plans for the year, and the adventure that lies ahead.

Making this book has been such a heartfelt, private undertaking - the cooking, tasting, writing, shooting have all has happened in our quiet Berkeley kitchen. It's hard for me to believe that before long, this personal book will be a very public thing. The recipes, which we continue to cook all the time, will no longer be just at our table - they can be at yours too. I can't even tell you the thrill I get when I imagine you cooking these dishes I love.

And I'm so curious which recipes you'll try. Will it be the Fish Tacos with Pomegranate Salsa? Millet Crepes {sweet or savory}? Baked Eggs on a Bed of Cherry Tomatoes? Watercress Salad with Balsamic Cherries? Spaghetti Dinner with Rainbow Chard, Bacon and Cream? Pistachio Orange Sugar Cookies? Cucumber Gimlets? I can't wait to find out.


............................................

In the meantime, let's talk about today's delicious soup. When I saw January's issue of Bon Appétit, I felt like the BA staff had read my mind, or maybe even peeked into my kitchen. I don't know about you, but I wanted to cook every recipe in the magazine, pronto! The issue is bursting with easy, healthful recipes that don't feel at all diet-y...just my kind of food... clean, flavor-packed dishes that nourish in a deep way. This Spicy Pork Soup with Kale and Rice Noodles totally satisfies - it's quick enough for a weeknight supper, packed with leafy greens, infused with spice, while adding just the right amount of pork for flavor and protein.






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INGREDIENTS adapted from Bon Appétit, January 2014 
printable recipe
  • 1/2 pound ground pork
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons peeled and finely grated ginger
  • 1 teaspoon Sichuan peppercorns, crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds, crushed
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 4-5 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce {GF folks, make sure to use GF tamari sauce}
  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce {GF folks: Thai Kitchen makes a GF fish sauce}
  • 4 cups torn kale leaves...you can use mustard greens, chard or turnip greens instead of kale
  • 4 scallions, sliced thin
  • 8 ounces wide rice noodles

In a medium mixing bowl, combine ground pork, garlic, ginger, Sichuan pepper, red pepper flakes, cumin, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, and a few generous grinds of black pepper.

Heat oil in a large stock pot, or dutch oven, over medium-high heat. Add pork and brown for 6-8 minutes, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon.

Next, pour broth over the pork, add the soy/tamari and fish sauces, and bring liquid to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer for 8-10 minutes so the flavors can mingle.

Finally, add the kale and scallions to the pot. Stir, and cook for a few minutes until the greens are just tender. Season with additional tamari sauce, salt, and/or pepper to taste.

In the meantime, cook rice noodles as per the instructions on your package, then divide cooked noodles among four bowls. Ladle the finished soup over the noodles. Serve and enjoy!



Serves 4

61 comments:

  1. This healthy soup looks so good and must be really fragrant! Marvelous.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  2. Thanks Rosa! It really is a great soup. So simple, but packed with flavor.
    xo

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  3. Erin, the cover of your book is wonderful. I'm going to pre-order now.

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    1. Jane, thanks so much! I hope you enjoy it!
      xoxo
      E

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  4. Ah ha, I recognized that soup from BA right away. I also made it because it looked so delicious, and it did not disappoint!

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    1. Dulcie, Isn't it good! I saw the cover and had to make it too:)

      Hope you're well. xoxo E

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  5. Erin - this soup looks and sounds simply divine! With chilly nights and hopefully rain on the way, what a perfect dinner in a bowl. So excited for your new book and will definitely be buying a copy and coming to your local book signing. Love to meet in person! Have a terrific week !!!! Lisa

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  6. Lisa, the soup is so good and ridiculously easy. I think you'd love it.
    Thanks for the excitement for my book:) SO appreciated. And wouldn't it be great to finally meet in person!
    xoxo
    E

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  7. They all sound delicious! I can't wait to try your fish tacos (those are a favorite). Plus, who doesn't love to cook the cover? xo

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  8. Pre-ordered! So excited for you, I can't believe it's got to this stage already. Times flies. The soup looks lovely too xxx

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    1. Thanks Emma! I'm so excited too!
      I'm so glad it didn't feel like forever from your perspective. Folks outside the biz feel like book publishing takes an eternity;)
      xoxo

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  9. How exciting about your book, I can't wait to see it, well done you!! The kale, pork and noodles looks divine, that is going straight on my to-try list!

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    1. Thanks Anna!
      Enjoy the soup... it's so good. I think I need to make another batch this week.
      xoxo
      E

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  10. Congratulations on the book! What an accomplishment.
    I just have to add that your picture of the noodles is absolutely luminous.

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    1. Atmoseats, thank you! You are too kind as always.
      xo
      E

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  11. I am SO excited for your book to come out. Will it be available in the UK? I didn't think your photos could get more beautiful but the ones in this post are simply stunning - big hoorays all round! :-)

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    1. Kate, thank you so much:))
      I'm not sure how publishing will work in the UK...I'm guessing one would still need to order through Amazon.
      xoxo
      E

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  12. Congratulations! So Exciting! This soup looks amazing too!

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  13. I want to try them ALL! Can't wait to see your gorgeous photos and recipes.

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    1. Katie, that means so much to me to hear you say that:))
      xoxo

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  14. Erin,
    Wonderful pictures and the soup looks fabulous as I try to work Kale into my food as much as I can. Its just so darn healthy for you. Best of luck with your wonderful new book. I look forward to seeing it at the bookstore. Deep Breath........now let go.

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    1. Oli, Thank you! That deep breath is just what I needed. How did you guess;)
      I hope you enjoy the soup. It's a keeper!
      xoxo to you and yours,
      E

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  15. Finally!!! I'm pre-ordered, too. and I can't wait to have this cookbook!

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  16. Finally as well, figured out how to get my name on these comments!

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    1. Alice, I wish the comment system were easier - sorry about that. Thanks for persevering!!

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  17. Yeah Erin!! I'm so excited for this book. I love the phrase 'gluten free omnivore'; that's pretty much how we eat these days and I can tell I'm going to want to cook everything from it! xo

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    1. Kathryn, thank you thank you. I can't wait to share the book with you.
      I'm glad you like the subtitle and am glad to hear you are one of the tribe. I could have guessed as much!
      xoxox
      E

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  18. How wonderful Erin, congrats!! I will too get my copy :). The soup looks really good too! hugs to you!

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    1. Najwa! Thanks so much. Hugs to you as well.
      xoxox
      E

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  19. Congratulations on your very big year and book release! I can't even imagine the amount of work that goes into a cookbook. Especially if you're the writer, recipe-tester AND photographer! Amazing, amazing, the cover is gorgeous, the recipes already sound so mouth-watering!

    I dare to say that you made this soup prettier than the BA cover.... beautiful! Glad the recipe has your stamp of approval, now I really want to try it :)

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    1. You are so sweet!!!

      The book really was a huge undertaking, I lived ate, breathed the book for well-over a year, but I have to admit that I've never had more fun. I loved the challenge of juggling all of the different elements... If I felt stuck with the writing, I'd go cook. If I felt stuck on the photos, I'd go write....

      Go make the soup now:) It's so easy and delish!

      xoxo

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  20. Dear Erin, congratulations! The cover looks beautiful and I can't wait to get my hands on your book!
    Watercress salad with balsamic cherries... mmm it will be good..!
    Will it become available on amazon uk as well? It's closer to ship that the US to the Netherlands.

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    1. Thanks Magda! I need to find out about the Amazon UK thing. Let me ask my publisher about that. Thanks for the enthusiasm Magda - it means so much to me.
      xoxo
      E

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  21. Erin, I'm so excited for you! I can't wait to have a copy of your book in my kitchen! This soup is right up my alley - on these cold winter nights I need a little tonic for the soul. Thank you, and have a great weekend :)

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    1. Hey Renee, thanks so much!
      "Tonic for the soul"... a perfect description for this soup. I need to make another batch too;)
      Have a great weekend also,
      xoxo
      E

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  22. Your photos are awesome! What camera/lens combination do you use? Do you still edit with lightroom?

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    1. Hey there Sam:)
      I use a Canon Mark II with a variety of lenses... Mostly the 50mm 1.2. But Canon also makes a wonderful Canon 50 1.8 which is inexpensive and fantastic!
      And yes, I mostly use Lightroom for my processing.
      Wishing you happy shooting Sam,
      Erin

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    2. Oh cool! I got lightroom and I also have the canon 50mm 1.8! It's awesome for how inexpensive it is.

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    3. You are on the right path with those good tools Sam. Keep shooting and having fun!

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  23. Congrats to you! I bet it must feel like such a great sense of accomplishment to have all the book editing done now. I know it was for me when I did my book last year. I can't wait to leaf through yours and salivate over all the incredible recipes.

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    1. Carolyn thanks! I know you know the feeling well... surreal excitement!
      xoxo
      E

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  24. What a great winter meal! The Sichuan peppercorns sound great in this. I have a little bag of them waiting to be used. And, I can't wait to see your book!

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    1. Lisa, the soup couldn't be easier and I love the Sichuan pepper kick. I think you'll love it too!
      xoxo
      E

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  25. The soup looks so good, it's making my mouth water! Love those flavors!

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    1. Thanks Jess! I'm loving the Sichuan peppercorns - such a quick and powerful way to get a nice hit of spice.
      xoxo
      E

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  26. Looks deliciously nourishing! Looking forward to hearing all about the book adventures over tea!

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    1. Looking forward to seeing you too Ceri!

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  27. I loved that issue of BA, too, for all the same reasons. Love this soup! And so happy for you, and your book--it looks amazing, and I am sure it *is* amazing. I hope this means you get to rest a little now? xoj!

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    1. Julia, wasn't it a great issue? They so captured what I most love to cook... simple, whole ingredients, healthful, delish. They are spot-on these days!
      And thanks for the kindness about my book. It means a lot to me:)
      xoxo
      E

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  28. I am so excited for your cookbook! I just know it is going to be a friendly, smiling, happy feast of a book to add to my collection. It will make our mealtimes come alive in the way I envision yours do, over there in sunny Cali:)

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    1. Emma, thank you!!! I'm really excited too. I keep pinching myself (and waking up at 5 am!) wondering, "really... is this happening?"
      A friendly, smiling, happy feast of a book.... I LOVE that!!!
      xoxo
      E

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  29. oh, that soup looks good! Have been so into hearty noodle bowls like this for supper this year. Also like having another use for Szechuan peppercorns.

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    1. I hear you Margo! I could eat soup every day and be happy. xo E

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  30. Oh, this soup sounds so delicious. I don't eat meat so I'm thinking I need to try it with an assortment of vegetables (mushrooms, zucchini, etc.). I'm lusting over that beautiful speckled bowl and am also counting down the days until your cookbook is released. August can't come soon enough.

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    1. Ashlae, you are too sweet. Thanks for the kind words about my book!
      I think mushrooms would make an awesome substitute for the pork here. Maybe even a mixture of shitakes, portobellos etc... Yum!
      xo
      E

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  31. This soup sounds super delicious to me lately as i've been on a major rice noodle kick! What do you think about the idea of substituting ground turkey for the pork - do you think it would really alter the flavor?

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    1. Lynda, I think ground turkey would be delicious here! If you try it will you let me know?
      Thanks!
      E

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  32. Hi Erin, I tried the recipe last night with ground turkey and it was really yummy! (it took me a while to find sichuan peppercorns but because of the search, i came across a brand new store dedicated to all sorts of spices in my neighborhood!) I felt like it needed like a punch of something either vinegary or something... and ended up putting a small dollop of thai chili garlic paste to mix in. TWO THUMBS UP! Thanks again for this recipe!

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So good to hear from you... I appreciate each and every note you leave for me!

Thanks,
E

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