Thursday, December 15, 2011

Ribbie Soup

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What I learned from watching lots of television during my childhood is that the most classic American soup may be the homemade chicken noodle soup with some chicken, pasta, and veggies.  Another favorite American soup seems to be the classic vegetable beef soup that combines some veggies with beef simmered in broth.  My childhood memory of my Vietnamese mother's go to soup for the family:  well, we call it Ribbie Soup in the Rasico household.  I'm so glad that my husband and Gianna love this dish - it helps when I'm not the only one eating it!

It's prepared with Country Style Ribs.  I cut the meat off the bone, but throw the bones in to make a stock.  Then it's the usual fish sauce of Vietnamese cooking that completes the flavors.  In the similar way that a little anchovy makes a great caesar salad, a little bit of fish sauce is just faint enough but provides the saltiness that rounds out a great soup.

  • 2 pounds of counry style ribs - about 5 ribs
  • 1 finely diced white onion
  • 2 bags of fresh cauliflower - 14 oz. each
  • 1 small bag of petite carrots 
  • 8 cups of water
  • 2 tablespoons of fish sauce - Three Crabs is preferable
  • Black pepper
  • Course kosher salt
  1. Cut the ribs into small bite - sized pieces.  Trim the fat, and reserve the bones.
  2. Heat a small amount of canola oil - just enough to cover the bottom of a stock pan or dutch oven.
  3. Add the diced onions and cook until wilted about 5 minutes.  Add the rib pieces with bones and stir with some salt and pepper.
  4. When lightly browned, season with the fish sauce.  Add the water, and bring up to a boil.
  5. Cover with a lid and reduce to low heat to simmer the meat until cooked for 30 minutes.
  6. Next, add the carrots and cauliflower.  Cover with a lid for 20 minutes until vegetables are tender.
  7. Serve alone or with rice.

The soup is quite rustic with little to do with the vegetables.  Just a little trimming of the meat.  The broth is full of flavor, but simple.  Cauliflower is a great complex carb that is full of fiber and digests easily.  I add cilantro because I add it to everything!

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