Sunday, October 14, 2012

Pork Meatballs and Pumpkin Soup (Chinese style)

Here's more pumpkin love. I made this soup over the weekend and I just couldn't stop eating it. Although it's a simple soup, it is packed with lots of flavor from the meatballs and a touch of sweetness from the corn and pumpkin. The key is to a) brown the meatballs, and b) allow the soup to sit for a couple hours after it's been simmered so that the flavors can really come together. If you're planning to make it for dinner, make it a few hours in advance. If you love pumpkin, this recipe is a must try.

Pork Meatballs and Pumpkin Soup (Chinese style)
Yields 6 to 8 small servings as a soup accompaniment or appetizer.

For the meatballs:
1/2 lb. lean ground pork
4 oz. canned water chestnuts, finely diced or minced
2 stalks green onion, sliced
1 tsp. corn starch
2 tbsp. soy sauce
1 tsp. sesame oil
A couple dashes of white pepper

For the soup:
2 corn on the cob
1/4 of a medium pumpkin
1/2 cup Chinese rice wine
3 cloves garlic
8 cups chicken broth, or sub with 8 cups water and 2 tbsp. powdered chicken stock
1 tbsp. vegetable oil
Salt to taste


Mix the ground pork ingredients thoroughly in a bowl.

Form into meatballs (about 1-inch in size) and set aside.

Prep the pumpkin by removing the seeds and innards and the skin.
Then cut the pumpkin into large chunks.

Shuck the corn and cut each cob into two pieces as shown above.

Heat the oil in a large pot then add the meatballs.
Brown them for about 2 minutes.

Push the meatballs to the side then add the minced garlic. Cook the
garlic for a minute until fragrant. Make sure the garlic doesn't burn.

Deglaze the pot with the rice wine, then add the chicken
broth and corn. Bring to a boil then reduce to low and simmer
for about 30 minutes.

Add the pumpkin pieces then cover again and simmer on medium-low
for another 20 to 30 minutes or until the pumpkin is soft and tender.

Turn the heat off and allow the soup to sit, covered, for a couple of hours.
Reheat the soup right before serving.

Comforting and satisfying.

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