Recently I had a large pot of pork broth left over from making 17 pounds of pulled pork. That’s not a bad thing, I can always find a use. Besides, it’s soup weather! I have soup ingredients, it’s a natural. There’s something comforting about a pot of soup simmering on the stove, frosting up the windows.
My soup broth was pork, and I had a lot of pulled pork. I’d simmered a lot of it in a mexi sauce to freeze for quick burritos or tacos. But I had saved a bunch of plain pulled pork to make a pulled pork soup. I didn’t know if such a thing existed, but it needed to.
I put the pork broth into a large kettle. I’d used a lot of sliced onion in roasting the pork shoulders, and didn’t need to add more to my soup. You could also use chicken broth or other stock if you don’t have homemade stock.
I sliced up 4 or 5 stalks of celery and added it to my soup pot.
I used up most of a one pound bag of carrots, about 5 cups. I sliced them up and added them to the pot.
I had sweet bell peppers and thought that would be a great taste to add to my soup. I diced up one red one and added it to the pot.
I wanted to add a touch of tomato flavor to my broth so I stirred in a small can of tomato paste. I meant to just add a squirt of the double strength tomato paste my P.S. (Pantry Supplier/hubby) buys in tubes, but in rummaging through a full cupboard I found the small can of paste first. So that’s why I used that.
I diced up about 8 cups of potatoes, still in their skins as we like them, and added them to the pot.
I added a teaspoon of garlic powder, a teaspoon of thyme, and wanted one more flavor. I saw the jar of 5 spice powder and thought that sounded like a new idea. It had been awhile since I’d made any soup with an Asian flavor. I also added soy sauce for the salty element, as I hadn’t salted the broth.
I let the pot simmer for about 20 minutes, until the potatoes were fork tender. I chopped the pork a little and added it to the pot. I also chopped the remainder of a bag of fresh spinach, about 4 ounces. When the pork was heated through and the spinach was wilted, I taste tested it and added more salt and pepper to taste.
The soup was great! The unexpected taste of the 5 spice powder made it a very unique but delicious tasting soup. I served it with some crusty bread for dipping and we enjoyed its hardiness for dinner. We were both happy with the pulled pork soup. You’d think it would be southern flavored somehow, as pulled pork seems to be made more in the southern regions. But it actually was more Asian. I’d actually call it a fusion of weird ideas that worked.
Asian Pulled Pork Soup
8 cups pork stock
4 cups shredded pork
3 stalks celery; diced
10 carrots (mine were fairly thin, made about 4 cups)
6 potatoes, large dice (about 2# or 8 cups
1 large sweet red pepper; diced (I used a red one, any one but green would be fine)
2 cans whole kernel corn with juices
6 ounce can tomato paste
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon Chinese 5 spice powder
4 ounces fresh spinach, roughly chopped
1/4 cup dry white wine (or 2 tablespoons rice or red wine vinegar)
In a soup pot, add stock, celery, sweet pepper and carrots. Bring to a boil.
Reduce heat to medium and add seasonings, tomato paste, sugar, cans of corn in juices and let cook for about 10 minutes.
Add pork and potatoes. Bring to a boil on medium high then let simmer for 20 minutes on medium heat.
Add wine or vinegar and spinach, stir until spinach is wilted. Taste for seasonings, adding salt and black pepper to taste.
Note: I didn’t add onions as my broth was from roasting 17 lbs of pork shoulder with 2 large onions. I left the onions in the broth when I used it. If you are using a canned broth, add 1 large diced onion to the soup pot.