Soup On The Fly

photo 1One of my favorite things about being part time is how much more I get to cook. I love to eat, so I love to cook, and the fact that I only have to be in the office 2-3 days a week has only furthered my love of feeding myself (and others! I am Peruvian and Italian; if I didn’t like to feed others, the only explanation would be that I’m a changeling and the real Christina is off gallivanting with the Wee Folk or else was eaten by them nigh on 26 years ago).

My favorite comfort food is noodles, hands down. BUT I’m doing this low carb diet thing, lately, probably because I hate pleasure, idk — ANYWAY. I really wanted soup today, ramen in particular. Since I can’t/won’t eat carbs, I made ramen-less ramen, which is almost but not quite as good. I’ve had a particularly productive morning — I woke up, wrote up a cover letter for a part time writing position, organized some writing coven things, and then wrote roughly a thousand words of novel I’m working on. Usually I don’t like my meals to take too much time away from my writing time (which is why I worship at the alter of my slow cooker, lately) but this took just under an hour and was entirely worth it, if I do say so myself. And I do.

You will need:

  • a bunch of delicious shit

  • pork belly
  • quail eggs (those would be the pretty tiny demolished things in the picture above)
  • spinach
  • lemon grass
  • scallions
  • garlic
  • sweet onion
  • tomatos (3 plum tomatoes)
  • soy sauce
  • ginger juice (or fresh ginger, but I forgot to buy some and I didn’t want to steal from my roomie)
  • sriracha
  • curry powder, garlic powder, salt, pepper, cayenne pepper
  • plum vinegar
  • red cooking wine

The first thing you wanna do is set some water a-boilin’. Say, two cups. Also, preheat the oven to 375.

Then, slice the pork belly. Half of it goes into the boiling water, the other half goes into the oven after you season it with some curry, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper. Liberally massage the spices on to the pork belly and then splash plum vinegar and cooking wine on top. Stick those suckers in the oven for 15 minutes.

photo 2

While your pork belly is boiling and roasting, peel and smoosh some garlic cloves, slice the sweet onion into little crescents (my grandmother called them pestañas, which means “eyelashes”), and haphazardly chop the scallions. Toss into the boiling pork. Also throw in the lemongrass. I just pulled it into strips, because I didn’t know what the fuck to do with the lemongrass.

Quarter the tomatoes and throw those in there too. I had this mushroom-and-soy sauce concoction in my fridge from a previous night of kitchen witchery, so I put that in, but you can also just splash in soy sauce and srircha. Add some more water (another 3 cups) and make sure to up your soy sauce so that the soup doesn’t come out too bland. Let this all boil.

Pork belly is why I am not a vegetarian.
Pork belly is why I am not a vegetarian.

Your pork belly should be ready to come out of the oven by now. Douse it in soy sauce when it’s done, and then stick it in the broiler on HIGH for another ten minutes. While it’s broiling, add the spinach to the soup and let it stand. Then, lower the heat so the soup isn’t bubbling, toiling, and troubling quite so vigorously. Crack 3-4 quail eggs into a ladle (this takes some maneuvering with only two hands; too bad none of my familiars have opposable thumbs), and submerge in the soup for 2-3 minutes. Remove from the soup, and drop them off into another bowl. Ladled some soup into a separate bowl, add the poached quail eggs on top, and then garnish with crispy and delicious pork belly.

photo 4

Enjoy while reading DeliriumStill delicious, though not as comforting without the carbs.

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