Sunday, March 3, 2013

Curried Butternut Squash Pork Soup

Yesterday I picked up a huge order from my favorite pork producer, Bill at Forest Fed. I'll spare you the lecture of how commercially raised pork is not only subpar in terms of nutritional value, but is probably the worst of the worst in terms of inhumane living conditions and just say that if you want the absolute best of the best in terms of heritage pork that is raised in an environmentally sustainable and humane way (these are the happiest of happy pigs right up until they get the axe so to speak), then Forest Fed is it. And it's the best tasting pork I've ever had. So I took advantage of Bill's monthly local drop and stocked up on shoulder, fresh belly, cured bacon, ground pork and sausage, and brats.

A friend was coming over for dinner that night and I remembered a curry soup my friend Christie had described that used ground sausage. Since I also had an open can of coconut milk that needed to be used up, also called for in the soup I figured it was a perfect choice.

Christie had given me some general guidelines for what she does, which I used as a starting point. Here's what I ended up doing:

I browned a pound of ground Italian sausage in a little bit of coconut oil until it had good color, then I added a can of full fat coconut milk, a can of organic butternut squash puree, a cup of homemade pork stock, and about a tablespoon of fish sauce. I had bought fresh ginger at the store, but it somehow didn't make it home with me, so I also added some crushed ginger from the jar I keep in my fridge for such emergencies. Once that was simmering nicely, I added one chopped yellow bell pepper, one chopped onion, and about 1/2-2/3 lb of quartered button mushrooms. I simmered the soup for about 15-20 minutes, seasoned it to taste, then served it with lime wedges.

Bad blogger that I am, I did not remember to take a photo, but it was a lovely, easy to prepare hearty soup and it paired nicely with a grenache blanc/albarino blend from Lone Madrone that I picked up on my trip to Paso Robles last spring. This time you don't have to take my word for it as my friend went back for seconds despite knowing we had another course to eat!

Tomorrow I'm dropping in on a class at the Crossfit box that's actually in my town. Incidentally it's owned by 2 brothers my age who used to be my next door neighbors so that's kind of fun. I get the impression that the space is pretty small and I may not love it, but I figure I need to check it out and see for myself. I'll report back tomorrow evening.

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