Melbourne’s more than chilly weather off late makes me crave for soup. Hot, heart-warming nourishing soup! I think I’m the hibernating kind when temperatures plummet to brrrrrrrfreezing cold (for me at least); my appetite is unusually suppressed during the winter season. It’s the perfect time for soups, stews, roasts, carbs, lots of warm bread and puddings but all I want to do is hibernate (tsk tsk tsk..such a bear). You see, where possible, J and I try to conserve energy and keep tabs on our power usage and yes the bill, hence we rarely turn on the heater (unless my fingers and toes are on the verge of falling off) so having to pile on jackets, scarves and a thick pillow-soft robe means I’m in some state of stupor and all I want to do is count the ZZZZZzzzzs.
White Radish, Coriander from the garden and Red Dates
The heavy pots and casserole dishes will reemerge from their cabinet hideout and soon our home kitchen will be filled with wafts of french onion soup, spicy pumpkin, creamy broccoli and cauliflower soups, sweat-inducing seafood tom yum, tom kha gai (broth of chicken, galangal, lemongrass and coconut milk) and plenty more. That temptress Sticky Date Pudding is definitely singing her siren song and messing with my head right now; gorgeous caramelly dates in a warm cake cocoon drenched in silky lick-your-spoon-clean butterscotch sauce <earth to foodsze earth foodsze..hello..pork rib soup? remember? knock knock>
Oh yes, back to my pork rib and white radish soup, this chinese-style soup has a clean flavour where maximum sweetness and flavour comes just from the pork ribs, a handful of red dates, white radish and coriander roots. Seasoning is minimal with fish sauce instead of salt and white pepper to taste. It is dead easy and I’ve simmered mine for 2 hours on the stove but this can be easily thrown together in a slow-cooker before you head to work and the soup’s ready and waiting when you get home. Ok. let’s get rolling; this mama only has sexy sticky date pudding on her mind right now! Whatever happened to all the nonsense up the top about suppressed appetite? Well, when sticky date pudding’s involved, resistance is futile. Stay tuned!
Pork Ribs & White Radish Soup
900 g meaty pork ribs
1 large white radish (mine was about 700g), cut into batons or rough chunks
120 g red dates
4 coriander roots & stems, washed clean (keep the leaves for garnishing)
3 litres water
3 tablespoons fish sauce
white pepper to taste
salt, to taste
- In a pot, cover pork ribs in cold water then bring to the boil; boil for 5 minutes to remove the scum that surfaces; rinse out the pork ribs with cold water then return this to the clean, washed pot.
- Add the 3 litres of water, red dates, coriander roots and stems to the pork ribs; bring to the boil then simmer for 1 hour.
- Add in the white radish batons/chunks and fish sauce and continue simmering for another 1 hour until meat is very tender.
- Season with white pepper and salt to taste; garnish with coriander leaves.
If using a slow-cooker, complete step 1 i.e. remove the grey-ish pork scum then chuck all ingredients in the slow-cooker and hit the ON button