Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Souper Delicious!

Zuppa di Riso & Maiale, con Verdure Miste e l'Anice Stellato
Pork & Rice Soup with Vegetables & Star Anis

If you check-in to my little blog regularly, you will know by now that most of my dishes are very simple, using very few and for the most part, very "ordinary" and inexpensive ingredients and very often left-over ingredients from previous meals. Which is exactly what we have here... a new creation made of bits and pieces from the previous 2 nights ingredients and a great, quick-fix for a cold Winter evening!

I had one little slice from the pork tenderloin left from yesterday evening, sitting there, next to the ginger, string beans and cilantro from Sunday nights chicken dish. Hmmm... Ginger and cilantro? Sounded like something Chinese-styled might be a good idea... a nice, hot soup for a cold, dark night!  

This was unbelievably quick, easy and tasty- 3 good reasons to try it! I started off by getting the rice boiling- just one handful per person is all it takes, along with a star anis and reduced the heat to a gentle simmer. I then took my frying pan, got it nice and hot and added a splash of sesame oil and the pork tenderloin which I cut into thin strips. I added finely chopped garlic, ginger and a little lime peel and stir-fried everything at a high heat until the pork began to brown. I then added a splash of soy sauce, a little fish sauce, a teaspoon of 5-spice powder, a trickle of honey and a squeeze of lime juice... hisss! Soon things took on a much deeper, darker color and the pan needed deglazing- so in went a splash of water and suddenly, there was a rich broth as is by magic, in which the pork strips were bubbling away- yummy!

I poured the contents of the frying pan into the rice, added as much liquid as I needed to bring the soup to the right consistency and put the frying pan back on the heat. I then sautéed some finely sliced celery, green onion, red pepper and string beans which I cut on the diagonal for 2-3 minutes, also in a little sesame oil. After 3 minutes, I poured the vegetables into the soup and stirred everything together. By that point, the rice had taken on the flavor of the star anis, the pork and spices and now the vegetables were added for just the last few minutes- which meant that each individual flavor stood perfectly for itself, but that the combination was yummy and delicious together!

The finishing touch was plenty of fresh cilantro, a last squeeze of lime juice, a last drop os sesame oil and a sprinkle of chili flakes... easy! I loved it and I think you will too! Because really- as my mother always says, "with all those good things in there of course it's going to taste good!"

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