Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Trio of Root Vegetables and Pig's Feet Soup (makes about 7 quarts)

Once in a while I like to make a huge pot of soup using different vegetables and any kind of bones that I have saved up in my freezer. In Asian markets in Boston I often find the pig's feet packaged and sliced in half lengthwise and then partially cut crosswise. These cuts make them easy to cook and easy to eat. Once home I scrape the skin of the legs with a knife to clean them. If there is some remaining hair on the skin, once boiled the skin will be soft and the hair can be easily removed with tweezers. In this soup I add my favorite root trio--lotus root, daikon and carrots. I also add the stems from cilantro, parsley, and kale to this soup. Some of the stems were previously saved in my freezer. I like to save them to make this type of soup to add extra flavor instead of discarding them. I cook the hardest vegetables first. In this case the lotus roots which can take a lot of time to soften.

Trio of Root Vegetables and Pig's Feet Soup (makes about 7 quarts)

Ingredients:

2 pairs of pork legs (about 2.2 lbs), halved lengthwise and several partial cuts crosswise, washed well
1 lotus root (about 11 oz), peeled, sliced into 1/4 inch width
2 large carrots (about 12 oz), peeled, cut into 1-inch lengths
3 slices of ginger
1 whole onion, peeled
2 medium daikon (1.5 lbs), peeled, cut into 1-inch pieces
A handful of stems from various vegetables (cilantro, parsley, kale)
About 1/8 cup chopped scallions (green parts)
About 1/8 cup chopped cilantro leaves
Water
Fish sauce
Salt
Sugar

Method:

1) In a large pot (I used an 8-quart pot), add pork legs and enough cold water to just submerge the legs. Gently boil for about 5 minutes. Wash the legs well in clean water and wash the pot.
2) Add the legs back into the pot. Add enough water to cover the legs. Once the water boils turn heat low to a simmer for about 30 minutes. Skim and discard any foam or impurities that float to the top.
3) Add lotus root, carrots, ginger and onion. Add more water, covering up to 3/4th of the pot. Once the water starts to boil turn heat down to low and let simmer for about 30 minutes. Skim and discard any foam or impurities that float to the top.
4) Add daikon and any stems you have. Continue to let the pot simmer until the daikon and lotus root are to the softness that you prefer. Continue to skim and discard any foam or impurities that float to the top.
5) Remove and discard the stems and ginger. Add scallions and cilantro. Season with fish sauce, salt and sugar. Turn off heat and cover the pot until ready to eat.

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