Spicy Pork, Mushroom and Kale Soup

Hearty, sustaining and packed full of goodness, not to mention flavour.

1 thumb’s length of unpeeled fresh ginger, grated
4 garlic cloves, crushed and chopped 
2 star anise pods
1 cinnamon stick
3-4 whole cloves
8 cups free-range pork bone broth
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
1-2 tsp quality fish sauce, (such as nam pla or nuoc mam) to taste 
1 tsp pickled red or green jalapenos chillies, thinly sliced
1/2-1 tsp chilli flakes, we used Pacific Harvest Chilli Kelp Seasoning
1/4 cup chopped fresh herbs, including oregano or coriander 
2-3 cups fresh kale, stemmed and chopped into thin strips
4-5 mushrooms, sliced (shitake, portabello or button)
1 cup mung bean sprouts
4 spring onions, thinly sliced
freshly ground salt and pepper to taste

To serve

1 green onion, thinly sliced
squeeze of lime juice 
handful of bean sprouts and chopped spring onions

Heat a large pot to moderate heat and add the ginger, garlic, star anise, cinnamon and cloves. Dry toast the spices for several minutes, tossing them constantly, until lightly browned and fragrant, taking care not to burn them. Immediately add the broth and the red onion, cover, and bring to a gentle boil. Add the fish sauce, sliced jalapenos, chilli flakes and salt to taste. 

Add the fresh herbs, kale and mushrooms and simmer for a further 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in most of the bean sprouts and chopped spring onions before ladling the soup into deep bowls. 

Garnish with the remainder of the spring onions and bean sprouts, a grind of fresh pepper and a squeeze of lime. Serve immediately. 

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