We have been eating soup more often this winter, and this recipe from the cover of the January 2014 issue of Bon Appetit is a keeper. Ground pork is mixed with garlic, ginger and spices and then browned. Add broth, simmer a few minutes, and then add greens, scallions, soy sauce and fish sauce. The recipe calls for mustard greens; I used kale. Be sure to taste the soup before adding salt, as the soy sauce and fish sauce are quite salty.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Check your spices to make sure they don’t contain colour or anti-caking agents. I use Imagine brand all-natural stock, tamari and a fish sauce with no MSG such as Cock brand.

Ground pork is mixed with spices

Cook the rice noodles until they are tender, but not too soft

Add kale

Simmer until the kale is tender

Spicy pork and kale soup


½ pound (250 g) ground pork

2 cloves garlic finely chopped

2 teaspoons (10 ml) finely grated peeled ginger

1 teaspoon (5 ml) Sichuan peppercorns, crushed

¾ teaspoon (3 ml) crushed red pepper flakes

½ teaspoon (2 ml) cumin seeds, coarsely chopped

1 tablespoon (15 ml) vegetable oil

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

4 cups (1 L) low-sodium chicken broth

1 bunch mustard greens, torn, about 4 cups (1 L)

4 scallions, thinly sliced

2 tablespoons (30 ml) reduced-sodium soy sauce

1 teaspoon (5 ml) fish sauce (such as nam pla or nuoc nam)

8 oz. (250 g) wide rice noodles


Mix pork, garlic, ginger, Sichuan peppercorns, red pepper flakes, and cumin in a medium bowl. Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add pork mixture; season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring and breaking up with a spoon, until browned and cooked through, 8–10 minutes.

Add broth and bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until flavors meld, 8–10 minutes. Add mustard greens, scallions, soy sauce, and fish sauce and cook, stirring occasionally, until greens are tender, 5–8 minutes; season with salt and black pepper.

Meanwhile, cook noodles according to package directions; drain.

Divide noodles among bowls and ladle soup over. Serves 4.

From the January 2014 issue of Bon Appetit