Tuesday, February 7, 2012

A Month of Soups: Mongolian Hot Pot

Wow! With today’s blog, seven soups down (literally--down the gullet) and only 22 to go! Almost done! One-quarter of the way through! (Well, it’s almost over in my mind, since I know where this is going and you do not!)

Today’s soup also takes planning ahead. So for dinner last night (instead of other leftover soups), we had Mongolian Hot Pot and there wasn’t even a girlfriend in sight. (See The Girlfriend Test blog entry-- http://bit.ly/A9ZJvg ). No, I did this dinner because I wanted to make Mongolian Hot Pot Soup today.

For the Mongolian Hot Pot dinner, I heat broth of some flavor with onions, carrots, and mushrooms and let it cool down. I strain out the veggies and it is ready to reheat again to boiling in a fondue pot set in the center of the dining table alongside plates of meats and veggies and a big bowl of brown rice. Save those veggies, though. They’ll go into your soup the next day.

The veggie plate has green onion stalks, whole mushrooms, bean sprouts, spinach leaves, and celery and carrot matchsticks. The meat/shrimp plate has about ½ pound of meat per person. I cut thin slices of chicken, pork, and steak. Add some raw shrimp. Put a loaf of bread out, and voilà, dinner is served.

Each person skewers what heesh would like to start with and lets the fork sit in the boiling broth until done to taste. Sometimes one loses one’s food and has to go fishing for it. And of course, your food comes in contact with others’ food, and might be considered, by the squeamish, to be contaminated.

Save the leftover broth, veggies, and meat, and you’re ready to make Mongolian Hot Pot Soup. You’ll have less than a quart of broth, but you can add more if you need to.

This soup is almost as easy as Garbage Soup (which is coming up later this month). The thing is, it is very forgiving and can be adjusted easily since you are not quite sure which ingredients you are going to have left or how much of them. So, chill. Go with the flow. Wind up your Taste-o-meter. It will be delish!

To the broth, add the leftover chicken, pork, steak, shrimp, celery sticks, carrot sticks, bean sprouts, onions, mushrooms, spinach, and any other ingredients you used for the Mongolian Hot Pot. Let it all sit for a while. I just put it all together in a pot at the end of the Mongolian Hot Pot dinner so it sits overnight. Then heat the soup gently until the meat is cooked.

Put ¼ cup of re-heated leftover rice in the bottom of a bowl. Pour the hot soup over it and enjoy!

DH’s rating: Four Tongues Up A light soup but it doesn’t feel like it. Still, you might be hungry again in an hour if you don’t serve it with some other stuff. We use bread and fruit.

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