You either had an “Yuuummm!” or an “Euwwww” reaction to that title, didn’t you? But even if you don’t like the sharp bite of raw garlic, this soup can still be for you. Like a recipe for Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic, this soup is mellow and rich with flavor without being overwhelmingly garlicky.
You might be wondering if I’ll ever quit making and reviewing and raving about soups from 300 Sensational Soups. There are about 280 recipes Sam and I haven’t yet tried, so … ;)
This soup is a little more time intensive than most others since you need to assemble the pork rolls first. Honestly, these looked and tasted so good that I’m tempted to spend some time making up several batches of the pork rolls and freezing them just so I can make this soup up in a minute! It goes together that fast once the rolls are made.
Just what are these curls of deliciousness stuffed with? First they are spread with a paste-like layer of chopped bacon, minced garlic, Italian parsley, and pepper. That is topped with pine nuts, plumped dried currants, and tissue thin slices of salty proscuitto. Those are rolled into the lean pork loin that has been pounded thin and wide enough to accomodate all those tasty bits!
And yes, those are pine nuts. Really. They couldn’t possibly be any other nut like chopped macadamias or something, because any kitchen that routinely keeps dried currants on hand SURELY would not be out of pine nuts. Could it? Neeeeeever…
After the pork rolls are made and sauteed with onion and more garlic — I made mine into thin slices — all the other ingredients are dumped into the pan: broth, chopped tomatoes and beans, and that’s it! I went with the optional white beans which is actually an unusual choice for me. I love my chickpeas but changed my mind just before plunging the can opener into my low-salt organic canned garbanzos. Not sure why, but the white beans satiny softness just seemed more “right”… this time, anyway!
To serve, just take out the rolls and slice them — a silicone glove or microwave grabber comes in handy here — salt and pepper them, then ladle the soup over them. Sprinke the whole bowl with some chopped parsley, basil, parmesan; your choice. I went with just the parsley.
Trick: to more easily remove the toothpicks, use the longest end to push them IN a bit more, then pull them out.
Garlic Soup with Pork Rolls
adapted from 300 Sensational Soups
For pork rolls:
4 slices bacon, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, pressed with garlic press
1/4 cup minced fresh Italian parsley
1/4 tsp. fresh ground pepper
3 – 6 thin slices proscuitto, divided to cover 6 rolls
1/3 c. pine nuts
1/4 c. dried currants, hydrated in hot water then drained
6 slices boneless center-cut pork chops, 1/4″ thick
salt and pepper after cooking, to taste
2-3 Tbsp. olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
3-5 large cloves garlic, sliced
2 cans low-sodium Great Northern Beans or other large white bean, rinsed and drained
1 can low-sodium diced tomatoes with their juice
1 quart chicken stock, unsalted or salted
1 tsp. paprika
salt to taste for broth
Garnish: chopped flat leaf parsley, torn fresh basil, Parmesan flakes or large shred.
Pound pork slices with meat mallet to make them thinner and longer to assist in rolling them. Make a paste with bacon, garlic, parsley, and pepper. Spread paste over each pork slice, dividing evenly. Layer on nuts and currants. Cover with prosciutto. Roll from a short side and secure with sturdy (round) toothpicks.
Heat oil in large pot or deep skillet. Stir in onion to coat, then add garlic and saute for 1 minute. Add pork rolls, nestling in so they touch the pan; brown lightly on each side. They will cook further in soup broth.
Add remaining soup ingredients. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 20-30 minutes.
Remove pork rolls. Double check that the internal temperature is at least 160F if you wish. Remove toothpicks, then slice into 1/2″ slices. Place in bowls and season with salt and pepper
Ladle soup into bowls and garnish.
Even though this soup takes a little more time in the preparation, I recommend you try it! Subsitute chicken or turkey cutlets if you prefer poultry over pork; it would be equally as good. However, the bacon and proscuitto are essential!
Soups are one of the (few!) things I enjoy about the fall season. My son recommends this one as well, although I will again temper that recommendation with this being his first feed-myself-all-the-time semester at college LOL!