Spicy Pork Soup with Kale

Hooray for a fresh start to the week!IMG_3322

It’s nice to get back to a simple routine after a weekend of holiday parties and too many Old Fashioned’s.

If your life is anything like mine, this week is all about shifting sleep and maximizing free time. My schedule is all over the map. From overnight shifts, to last-minute boss requests, to ‘you look so tired,’s and ‘are you feeling okay?’s from my friends, I knew this was going to be a week for my favorite healthy, fresh, fast spicy pork soup with kale. IMG_3360

Fresh ginger gives a sense-boosting zip, while the fat in ground pork fills out the soup and keeps you full, without filling out your waistline. Plus, a whole head of kale seems to disappear in this recipe. I feel like I never have enough  – so it’s a great way to pack in greens.

Lately I’ve been adding extra-firm tofu. It soaks up the broth and beefs up the protein. Be sure to up your spices if you decide to add it in. Tofu seems to have a way of making life.. really boring – at least for me.

This is a comfort meal in my mind, so I always add vermicelli rice noodles. Plus, like it’s dinner right? You need some substance  read: carbs … You can always leave them out though, if you’re in a major rush to cut cals.

What you’ll need:

1 lb ground pork
1 3-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled & mincedIMG_3329
3 cloves garlic
4 scallions, chopped
1 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
2 tsp. red chili pepper flakes
1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 head kale, sliced (can sub mustard, beet or other greens)
1 package extra-firm tofu
6 cups chicken broth (or 4 cups broth, 2 water – keeps it lighter)
3 Tbsp. reduced-sodium soy sauce (I use gf)
1 1/2 tsp. fish sauce (nam pla)
1/2 package vermicelli rice noodles

  • In a bowl, combine ground pork, ginger, garlic, 1 scallion, red chili flakes, and ground cumin.IMG_3331
    • It’s gross for a moment, but this step works best with your bare hands. You’re really trying to pack the pork with those flavors.
  • Heat vegetable oil on medium high heat.
  • Add pork and cook until browned.IMG_3346
  • Add stock and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce to a simmer and add sliced kale, scallions, soy sauce, fish sauce (and tofu, if you’re into that)
  • Cook for 10 minutes or so to let the flavors meldIMG_3359
  • Add in vermicelli noodles
    • You can also cook these separately. It may make for prettier presentation – you can ladle the hot soup over bowls of noodles instead of struggling to cut the seemingly never-ending strings… like I always seem to do.IMG_3363

p.s. – I take this to work all the time because it heats up so well. Making one big pot saves me tons of time. Just be mindful of slurping your noodles…!




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