A soup that can be thrown together quickly and that requires no broth or stock. Water is simmered with the ground meat to create a broth. Of course, if you like, you can use any broth or stock you have on hand, this will give a much richer flavor. You can use any ground meat here, or forgo it altogether, subbing in some vegetarian item if you like. Add in the greens so they have time to cook, which means don’t throw in curly kale at the last second. The amount of the ground meat to use will depend on how much you have on hand as well as your preference–the more you use, the more substantial a soup you will have. Feel free to toss in some spices here, I added curry powder (a tablespoon) with great success.
2 T vegetable oil
1 1/2 c chopped (sweet) onion
1/2 t salt
1/2 – 1 chopped fresh hot pepper, optional (seeded, ribs removed, if you like)
1/2 lbs or more ground pork or other ground meat
2 – 3 medium tomatoes, cored and chopped
1 1/2 T fish sauce, or 4 t soy sauce plus 1/2 t powdered sea vegetable
spices, to your preference, optional
5 1/2 c water (or broth or stock)
4 c or so (stemmed) chopped greens
2 eggs, lightly beaten
grated cheese, for serving, optional
fresh, chopped herb, for garnish
hot sauce, for serving, optional if you’ve used fresh hot pepper
1. Heat oil in a soup pot. Add the onion and salt and sauté, stirring for about 5 minutes or so. Add the fresh hot pepper, if using, after a couple of minutes. Add the ground meat and cook, stirring, until the meat loses it’s pink color and breaking the meat up if need be. Add the tomatoes and fish sauce and stir to combine. Cook for about five minutes, until the tomatoes have broken down some.
2. Add the water and bring to a gentle boil. Reduce heat to a simmer. Skim off any foamy scum on the surface for the first five minutes after adding the meat. Cook for another 10 – 15 minutes. Add the greens as appropriate to their cooking time.
3. Remove from heat and add the beaten eggs, stirring all the while. Continue stirring until the eggs are cooked and are well incorporated into the soup.
4. Serve, topped with grated cheese if you like, and sprinkled with fresh herb. A dash of hot sauce is always good.