Saturday, November 7, 2015

Chili Verde Soup

It's always interesting to see what the husband brings home from the grocery store, even when sent with a list. I organize the desired items by department - produce, dairy, meat, frozen, bakery, etc. - but we can still end up with a few surprises. "Sprouts", for example. I had bean sprouts in mind but he came home with Brussels sprouts instead. Oops, I should have been more specific. Quick, revise the dinner menu! "Steaks" were intended to be the beef strip loins that were on sale, but he found a great pork bargain of Buy One, Get Two Free. Suddenly we had a lot of pork shoulder on hand. This impromptu soup was inspired by his recent shopping adventure. Yum, it was welcome comfort food on a stormy Seattle afternoon.

A Peppy Chili Verde Soup

1 Tablespoon canola oil
3 lbs pork shoulder steaks, cut in large chunks
salt and pepper to taste
1 large white onion, sliced into thin wedges
2 poblano peppers, roasted, peeled & deseeded
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
1 teaspoon cumin powder
1 Tablespoon smoky paprika
1 can green enchilada sauce
3 cups low sodium chicken broth (more as desired)
2 oranges, cut in half through their middle
2 cans beans (red or black) rinsed & drained
1 lime cut in wedges to serve at table 
1/2 cup shredded cheddar or pepper jack cheese
 lime tortilla chips (optional)

Preheat the oven to 325 F.
Add oil to a heavy-bottomed Dutch oven and heat to shimmering over medium-high heat. Add the pork in several batches to avoid crowding and brown on both sides. Remove to a plate or bowl and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Add the onion, pepper slices and garlic to the pot; stir until fragrant; cover and sweat for 5 minutes over medium heat.
Uncover and return meat to the pot. Add the next 6 ingredients, oregano through oranges, to the pot and stir to combine.
Cook in preheated 325 F oven for 2 hours or until meat is tender.  Stir in the beans and return to the oven to heat through (or use the stovetop). Add more broth if you prefer a soupier soup. Taste and adjust seasonings.
Ladle into warmed bowls and serve with lime wedges, shredded cheese and lime tortilla chips (optional)
This soup definitely gains in flavor after resting and reheating.

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