Neil Perry's Mexican pork and chickpea soup

Neil Perry
Mexican style pork and chickpea soup
Mexican style pork and chickpea soup  Photo: William Meppem
Dietary
Gluten-free

This hearty and delicious soup is so simple to make, but oh so good. You must give it a squeeze of lime.

Ingredients

1kg pork shoulder, trimmed and cut into 2cm cubes

½ white onion

2 cloves garlic

8 stems coriander

2 bay leaves

sea salt

flavour paste (recipe below)

400g can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

For the flavour paste

3 large dried ancho chillies, stemmed and seeded (available from Mexican food suppliers)

1 clove garlic

½ large white onion, roughly chopped

½ tsp dried Mexican oregano

½ tsp cumin seeds

sea salt

Sides, for serving

1 cup shaved cabbage (red, white or both)

½ small red onion, thinly sliced

2 cups corn chips

4 limes, halved

1 tbsp chilli powder


Method

1. To make the flavour paste, place the chillies in a heatproof bowl and add boiling water to cover. Allow to sit until the chillies are softened, about 20 minutes. Place chillies in a blender. Add the garlic, onion, oregano, cumin and a generous pinch of sea salt and purée, adding just enough of the soaking water to form a smooth paste (about 1 tablespoon).

2. For the soup, place the onion, garlic, coriander stems and bay leaves in a piece of cheesecloth, secure with twine to form a bundle, then set aside.

3. Season the pork on all sides with sea salt. Place the pork, flavour paste and herb bundle in a large stockpot. Add 2½ litres of water, give the whole pot a good stir, bring to the boil and reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer gently until the pork is tender (60 to 90 minutes).

4. When cooked, remove the herb bundle and stir in the chickpeas to heat through, check seasoning and add salt if needed.

5. For the side dish, place the cabbage and onion in a large bowl.

6. Ladle the soup into large bowls. Serve with the cabbage, onion, corn chips, limes and chilli powder in the middle of the table, so everyone can add extras to their own taste.

More Mexican recipes