Chinese Fragrant Pork
and Black-Eyed Pea Soup
A substantial one-bowl meal of bean soup, flavored with smoked pork--immensely fragrant wtih ginger, garlic, and honey...and immensely filling. Serve hot as a meal to 4 to 6 people.
Garnish: minced green onion
1. Soak the peas in lots of water for several hours, ideally overnight. Technically this step is not necessary, but it helps guarantee tender and buttery beans at the end.
2. An hour or so before serving, begin the soup. Heat the peanut oil in a Dutch oven over medium-low heat, toss in the onion, ginger, and garlic and cook, stirring, until the onions are soft and yellow, about 5 minutes. Stir in the 5-spice powder, then the rice wine, soy sauce, and honey. Add the pork hock and pour in the chicken stock and water. Drain and rinse the beans and add them to the soup. Bring the soup to a boil over high heat, then reduce to medium, partially cover, and cook for about an hour, til the beans are very tender.
3. When ready to serve, remove the ham hock, cut away the bone and fat, then cut the meat into a small dice and add back to the soup pot.
4. Ladle into large bowls and sprinkle each with minced green onion.