We have not had a cold winter in the San Francisco Bay Area. It’s been a wet one for sure, but most days we’re pulling out hoodies not coats. Today was just a bit colder, and given I need very little reason to make soup, today was a soup day.
This soup is all about pork shoulder cooked until it shreds at the slightest touch.. It creates a great broth that you can top a thousand different ways and tweak to match your mood or the weather.
- 3 lbs pork shoulder (cut into fist sized chunks)
- 2-3 carrots peeled and diced2-3 stalks of celery trimmed and diced
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 2-3 garlic cloves diced
- 1-2 cups shredded napa cabbage
- 2-3 medium tomatoes, diced (or 1 can)
- 5-6 cups chicken stock
- Olive oil
- 2-3 bay leaves
- 2-3 tbsp red wine vinegar
- Salt + Pepper
- Start the prep: Dice the carrots, celery, onion, garlic, and tomato. Thinly slice or shred the Napa cabbage. Cut the pork if needed.
- Bring a pot to medium/ high, and coat the bottom in olive oil and add the pork to brown, a couple minutes per side, then transfer to a plate.
- Add the carrots, onion, celery, and garlic to the pot. Hit generously with salt and fresh ground pepper.
- Gently cook the vegetables until they get soft and start to melt, but not brown. Add it the tomatoes and crank the heat up to high.
- Just when things start to bubble add in the pork and stock.
- Bring the whole thing to a boil, add bay leaf, another generous pinch of salt and pepper, then cover and drop to low.
- Simmer until the pork falls apart at the slightest provocation: 1-3 hours depending on the fat content of the pork. From time to time test it with a couple of forks, when they easily pull the pork apart you’re ready.
- Pull out the pork and the bay leaves, discard the leaves and shred the pork.
- Add the pork back into the soup with the cabbage and vinegar.
- Stir until the cabbage wilts and is well incorporated to the soup.
- Taste and add more vinegar, salt, or pepper to your taste.
- Serve! It goes great topped with avocado, creme fraiche, all sorts of chopped herbs, or spicy picked carrots (hint- that’s included below). Of course (as with most soups), it’s also amazing with bread.
Bonus! – Spicy Pickled Carrots
- 3 cups water
- 2 cups white vinegar
- 2 tbsp salt
- 1 tbsp dried oregano
- 3-4 bay leaves
- 1 tsp whole peppercorn
- 8-10 large carrots
- 1 medium onion
- 12 jalapeños
- Peel carrots and slice diagonally 1/4″ or so thick.
- Bring a pot to heat over high, add in brine ingredients, and bring to a boil.
- Add carrots and return to boil, then reduce to a simmer for 10 minutes.
- While that is going, peel and quarter onion, then slice 1/2″ thick.
- Add onion to the brine and simmer for another 10 minutes. The carrots should be just getting to fork tender.
- Slice the jalapeños into 1/4″ rings keeping the seeds.
- Add the jalapeños and simmer for another 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat, cover for 5 minutes, then allow to cool.