I had grand plans of trying out some new recipes yesterday. However, when I returned home after work, working out, and running errands, I realized that I had only two goals for the evening (as opposed to, say, my usual 4 or 5):
Eat Dinner and Lounge
The full fridge was calling to me, but I just could not muster the strength. I'm blaming it on the lack of sunlight. Lame? Maybe. But that's the only excuse that seems to make sense.
Ever since our vegetable dumpling adventure (visit Week in Review for the recipe, bottom of the post), I'd been concocting an Asian-inspired soup in my head. David suggested we roast a pork loin to add to the soup. On our trip to the grocery store this past weekend, we picked up a 1/2 lb pork tenderloin (not center-cut pork), which immediately got roasted and has been waiting patiently in the fridge.
I decided to cash in on my soup thoughts. It was a good decision, and David's addition of the roasted pork in a "Chinese 2-spice" (He realized when we got home that we were missing 3 of the five spices. It still tasted awesome.) really gave the soup an extra roast-y, full flavor. Plus the ginger in the vegetable dumplings added an extra layer of tastiness.
I also had a bunch of nice, colorful, swiss chard stems that were begging to be fried up and enjoyed. So, while the soup was heating up, I quickly fried them and stored them in the oven (heated at 350 degrees) until we were ready to eat.
Here's the recipe for the soup. You could easily omit the dumplings and add more veggies...or maybe soba noodles.
And I really suggest you try and make this. It's easy, satisfying, and managed to make a tiny little dent in the cornucopia of veggies that's overflowing out of my fridge.
Dumpling Soup with Roast Pork
- sesame oil
- 1 garlic scape, chopped (or just a small clove of garlic)
- two large handfuls of chopped greens (I used the usual mizuna, komatsuna, tatsoi mix. You could easily use spinach or swiss chard. But I wouldn't recommend using kale)
- 4 cups chicken or vegetable broth, plus 2 cups of water
- 1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh shitake mushrooms
- 6 vegetable dumplings
- 1/2 cup roast pork, sliced into shoestring-like strips, about an inch long* (optional, but worth it. for pork recipe, scroll to bottom of page)
- 1/4 cup chopped scallions, white and green parts.
In non-reactive soup pot, heat up a small amount of sesame oil, just enough to quickly sautee the scapes. Add scapes and cook, 1-2 minutes, or until scapes are bright green and fragrant. Add chopped greens and mushrooms. Add broth and water.
Cover and bring to a boil over med-high heat. When soup is boiling, add vegetable dumplings and cook for approx 5 minutes, or until they are glistening and soft when gently nudged with a spoon.
Turn down heat and add pork and scallions. Stir and heat until pork is warm, approx 2 minutes.
Divide into bowls and serve.
*"Chinese 2-Spice" Roast Pork
by Chef D
- 1/2 lb pork tenderloin (this will give you enough pork for 2 recipes-worth of the above soup)
- Sichuan Pepper Blend Spices (a blend of black pepper, red pepper, ginger, garlic, onion, etc)
- Kosher Salt
Preheat oven to 270degrees.
Lightly coat pork with spices and salt and roast, for approx 1 1/2 hours, until pork is cooked through. Remove from oven and slice.