Depending on one’s mood, there are a variety of ways to prepare soup, or in this case, pork lentil soup. As I have previously mentioned, I am getting married this year, and thus must make more dishes at home. This dish is one that I made with my own marinade, and created a soup unlike anything you will see in a restaurant.
Pork Loin Marinade:
Salt, black pepper, Aleppo pepper, soy sauce and teriyaki sauce. Now I have been known to add additional seasonings, but because of how I was going to season the soup base, I wanted to keep it simple.
Soup Base: Part One:
Chicken broth, salt, ground ginger, black peppercorn, paprika, teriyaki sauce, saffron, Sriracha hot sauce, whole onion (1), whole garlic cloves (5), Serrano hot peppers (2), Bok choy & French green lentils.
Side note: Depending on the level of spice preferred, the Serrano hot peppers can be substituted for jalapeño or fresno peppers. Unless you want to add a side of milk or some kind of cheese, do NOT add anything spicier than the fresno hot peppers to this soup.
For the next 2-3 hours, let the soup base cook in a slow cooker set to high heat. The tenderloin of pork can be marinated for as little as one to two hours, or even days depending on how much you want to infuse the pork with flavor.
Side note: Pork tenderloin is a lean piece of meat. If you want to add richness, melt 2 tablespoons of butter, or add some olive oil of your choice, but remember to incorporate some kind of fat with this cut of pork.
Soup Base: Part Two:
In a separate pot than the slow cooker, cook the French green lentils.
Rinse lentils, add 2 and a half cups of water or preferred stock, bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium/low, and cook uncovered until tender, 25-30 minutes.
Cook tenderloin either with a sauté pan or cast iron skillet. In the case of this soup, I decided on the cast iron grill skillet to quickly sear and cook the tenderloin and retain some of the natural juiciness of the pork. Cook until about medium rare or medium depending on preference. Slice and add to the soup base with the cooked lentils.
Allow for one hour of cook time with all the ingredients in the slow cooker. Serve in individual bowls or large serving bowl if friends are coming over.
Wine: 2012 Escudo De Plata Reserva Spanish red wine
The wine was a nice medium bodied wine. It was a wonderful, rich dark color, and fruity, dry taste. It paired very nicely with the richness of the soup. Found this gem at Total Wine, but there are many wonderful reds that one can pair with this soup.