Every global culture has some kind of a vegetable soup with a bit of meat thrown in for flavour. The differences between the soups depend on the kind of vegetables which grew locally. Minestrone in Italy is full of tomatoes, lentils and small petals of pasta with a few bits of bacon thrown in. The core ingredient in the Belgian “Hutsepot” is brussels sprouts and a bit of smoked sausage. “Eintopf” (literally translated “One Pot Soup”) is so common in Germany I can hardly believe I have never made this soup at home before. The smell, the taste and the look whisk me straight back to my childhood where we ate this soup at least once a week. It’s not exactly haut cuisine or joyful festive fodder – it’s just a plain, simple, vegetable soup. That all said it still tastes pretty good and my highly picky children ate at least three soup bowls. This simple summer soup used to to be known as“once through the garden” soup. My Grandmother would go into the garden with her basket and pick out an onion, some beans, carrots, peas, parsley – what ever was in season and throw it in the pot together with a good chunk of pork belly thrown in to give the soup a savoury punch. Sadly my shady garden does not allow me to cultivate a vegetable patch. On the other hand we are lucky enough to have some great local farmers providing me with plenty of seasonal vegetables. Below, then, the simple though “it ain’t half bad” traditional summer soup.
…or any seasonal vegetable that you like the look of…
Parsley or Chives
250 gr of pork belly
Begin by gently frying the onion and the carrots in some lard until they have turned translucent. Chop and add the remaining vegetables. Place the belly pork on top of the chopped vegetables. Add enough water to your pot until it reaches approx. 5 cm. above the vegetables.
Leave to simmer on a low heat for one and a half hours. Before serving take the meat out of the pot and shred before returning the shredded meat to the pot. Sprinkle with freshly chopped parsley.