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Pork Barley Spinach Soup
Source: Chef Jean-Paul Bourgeois
What You’ll Need
3 pounds Prairie Fresh® Natural boneless pork shoulder picnic, trimmed and cubed into 1.5" x 1.5" pieces
4 tablespoons vegetable oil split in half
2 large onions, medium diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 stalks celery, medium diced
2 large carrots, medium diced
12 ounces sliced button mushrooms
3 bay leaves
10 sprigs of thyme, tied with butcher's twine in a bundle
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 gallon chicken stock or water
8 ounces white wine
1 large bag prewashed baby spinach
1 pound cooked barley (can substitute other grains or beans like spelt, farro beans or hominy)
juice of one lemon
salt and pepper, to taste
chopped parsley for garnish
- In a mixing bowl, season cubed pork shoulder generously with 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil, salt and pepper.
- Preheat oven to 400 F. In a roasting pan, add pork and cook until roasted golden brown. Remove from oven and set aside.
- In a heavy-bottom soup pot over medium heat, add 2 tablespoons vegetable oil and mushrooms. Cook the mushrooms until golden brown.
- Add onions, celery, carrot, garlic and bay leaf. Cook until the onion begins to caramelize, when light brown around the edges.
- Over low heat, add tomato paste and stir. Slowly caramelize the mixture just until it starts to create a "fond" or brown food bits on the bottom of the pan.
- Add white wine. Turn to medium-high heat. Cook until wine is reduced by half.
- Add chicken stock, browned cubed pork and bundle of thyme. Simmer soup until the pork shoulder cubes start to lose firmness (about 20-30 minutes). Add cooked barley to the soup and continue to simmer for an additional 20 minutes.
- Add salt and pepper to taste, to adjust seasoning. Remove thyme bundle and bay leaves, and discard. Add spinach to hot soup and stir until completely wilted.
- Finish the soup with lemon juice and chopped parsley.