Kale soup with pork quenelles

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This, dear fellow foodies, is old-fashioned Swedish peasant food. In a good way. Perfect for this cold time of year this soup is warming and nourishing and so are the pork quenelles, which are basically meatballs cooked in stock instead of pan-fried.

Please note that the quenelles takes longer to make than the soup, so do start with these. If you think the quenelles are strange or you don’t eat meat, garnish your soup with medium-boiled eggs instead. Cut them in half and put them in the soup – it’s also delicious and another common way to eat the soup.

Kale soup, serves 4

Adapted from Hannu Sarenström’s recipe in the book Vinterkalas.

ca 375 g chopped fresh kale

2 tbsp butter

2 tbsp plain flour

1 litre chicken or vegetable stock

100 ml cream

salt, black pepper

Melt the butter in a large saucepan, stir in the flour and add the stock little by little while stirring. Add the kale and let simmer for 10 minutes. Mix with a stick  blender and add the cream. Bring to the boil and season to taste. 

Pork quenelles, serves 4-6

500 g pork mince

1 egg

100 ml breadcrumbs

1-2 tbsp water

salt, white pepper

1 onion, finely chopped

1,5 litre chicken stock (from a cube is fine)

Break the egg into a bowl and stir in breadcrumbs. Add salt (more than you think) and white pepper. Let the mixture swell for a few minutes. If the mixture is thick add 1-2 tbsp water to loosen it. Stir in the chopped onions and the mince. Mix well and roll the mince into 2 cm thick balls. Rinse your hands in between rolling to make it easier. 

Bring the stock to the boil in a large saucepan and let it simmer. Add the quenelles and let them simmer for approx 15 minutes (check with a knife that they’re cooked through, i.e. not pink in the middle). Remove with a slotted spoon and add to the soup bowls. Fill up with kale soup and serve. 

Chorizo meatball carbonara

I found this recipe in River Cottage Everyday, one of Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s cookcooks.

Pork mince seasoned with paprika and fennel, then shaped into meatballs and together with cream, egg yolks and spaghetti, this is a fab pasta dish. Especially when served with heaps of freshly grated parmesan.

The Swedish way to make meatballs is to add breadcrumbs and an egg to the mixture, which makes the meatballs less compact and juicer, and I think I will apply this next time as these meatballs turned out a bit compact, but the seasoning was spot on.

Chorizo meatballs, makes 15-20

Adapted after Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s recipe.

500 g pork mince

2 tsp sweet smoked paprika

1,5 tsp hot smoked paprika

1-2 garlic cloves, minced

salt

1 tsp fennel seeds

1/8 tsp cayennepepper

30 ml red wine

black pepper

olja for frying

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl. This is easily done using your hands or a wooden spoon. Roll into small meatballs. Fry in oil.

Carbonara, serves 2

300 g spaghetti

2 egg yolks

50 ml double cream

parmesan

salt, black pepper

Cook the spaghetti al dente. Drain. Mix egg yolks with cream. Add the pasta, salt and pepper. Serve with the meatballs and parmesan.