Friday, 18 July 2008

HBH's Pork Ribs Soup

When I got home from an outing, mentioned to HBH that I was not having dinner due to a heavy lunch with my friends from the Book Club.
I had prepared Chilli con Carne for his dinner. Feeling tired and lethargic due to the past few days activities, I decided to lie down for a while. My senses were awakening by the smell of cooking permeating upstairs from the kitchen. When I entered to the living room, I found the table was laid for my dinner, chopsticks and all, should I happen to fancy some soup.

The pork ribs soup was robust and delicious without feeling heavy and was a good marriage with the ingredients combined. When asked how he went about preparing it, following was what HBH had to say:

Last night at about 7 pm HB said that she was “just going to lie down for 15 minutes” and that she “did not want anything at all to eat.” From years of experience I knew immediately that I had plenty of time to cook something for her when she woke up.
Now when it comes to cooking I model myself on that Canadian guy on TV who cooks without recipes, and I work very much on the TLAR/TSAR/TTAR principle (That Looks About Right/That Smells About Right/That Tastes About Right).
So the following was what I cobbled together during the two hours that HB was lying down for 15 minutes.

Preparation: 15 minutes
Cooking: 50 – 60 minutes

Serves: No idea. Depends on how hungry everybody is and the size of the bowls you serve it up in. However, as a guide the maximum number of servings should equal the number of pork ribs.

1. About four pints water
2. Pork ribs (in this case there were 6 in the packet but put in as many as you want)
3. Two potatoes, about the size of a man’s fist, cut into 1¼-1½ inch pieces
4. One white radish (about the size of a peach) cut into similar sizes as the potatoes
5. Two large onions cut into 12 portions each
6. 6 cloves of garlic cut into slices
7. Pinch each of salt, ground black pepper, dried chilli flakes and dried coriander
8. Tablespoon each of chilli oil, light soya sauce and EVO
9. Chicken stock cubes or powder (in this case powder).
10. Two carrots diced into approximately ½ inch pieces
11. Large tablespoon of caramelised onions
12. Couple of dried bay leaves (You can use fresh ones – we just have the dried variety)

1. Put water in a large saucepan on a high heat.
2. Add onions, garlic, bay leaves and pork ribs.
3. Bring to the boil and skim off the scum. It will probably be necessary to do this from time to time during the entire cooking process.
4. Turn heat down to a rapid simmer and add all the other ingredients.
5. After about 10 minutes taste the soup and add more salt/pepper/dried chillies/chicken stock according to taste.
6. Stir occasionally and remove any accumulated scum (although by now there should be very little).
7. Test the vegetables and when they are ready the soup is.

Note: I would have preferred to use chopped up fresh chillies instead of the dried ones. I know we have some in the freezer but I have a suspicion that HB has a secret compartment in it where she keeps all the things I need.

As an alternative to pork ribs, roasted chicken can be substituted. I prefer to take it off the bone but that is a matter of personal preference. It is a good way of using up the remains of a roast chicken dinner as the carcass will add flavour to the soup. When ready to serve remove any of the bones from the soup

The amount of any or all of the ingredients can be varied according to taste. We like to eat spicy food but if you don’t then omit the chillies and the chilli oil.

The only available photo I had was from lunch the next day.

Love .....

“A woman knows the face of the man she loves like a sailor knows the open sea.”