Goodbye Soup w/ Pork Carnitas

There's no better excuse to cook a great meal than a party for a dear friend. While I'd prefer to be celebrating at a welcome-home party, I had to settle for a going-away feast. My friend/coworker/mum Ryan shipped off for Dubai last week for a 2-year assignment overseas (here we are - that's me stuffed into his armpit). 

He came to Boston for a last hurrah, and we had our friends over for some Mexican-inspired paleo eats. Ryan chose the theme, and we prepared some spiced cantaloupe, veggies & guacamole, and grass-fed beef stuffed sweet peppers for appetizers:

It is important to note that Ryan made the beautiful lettuce "flower" as the veggie centerpiece (I want to make sure I do not receive any credit for this masterpiece).  The main course was lettuce wrap tacos stuffed with crockpot pork carnitas and topped with a strawberry/pineapple/avocado salsa. The meal was wonderful, the company couldn't have been better (thanks Heather and Kenny!), and we had a great time. After a whirlwind of a week full of amazing adventures, I returned home to Boston and was hungry like usual. All I had in the house was about 5 pounds of leftover carnitas in my crockpot and about 8 large sweet peppers. I decided that I needed a little "goodbye soup" for the soul, so I created the following recipe. I ate it all week and even discovered that soup for breakfast is amazing... don't just trust me, try it!

Pork Carnitas Ingredients:

  • 2 4-5lb pork loin roasts (can also use pork shoulder or butt)
  • 2 large onions, sliced
  • Chopped garlic (I must have used at least 10 cloves)
  • 1 container of cherry tomatoes
  • 2 cups of broth (I used chicken)
  • 4 bay leaves
  • Sea salt, pepper, cumin, paprika, oregano, cayenne pepper, cinnamon, and any other spices you want to add!

Instructions:

  1. Lay sliced onions and chopped garlic in the bottom of the crockpot
  2. Put your pork on top (I did fat side up)
  3. Season very generously with all seasonings
  4. Add box of cherry tomatoes and broth
  5. Cook on low for 10 hours
  6. Shred the pork with kitchen tongs and stir so juices mix - keep warm and serve when hungry!

Goodbye Soup:

Ingredients:

  • 1-2 Tbsp. olive oil or other paleo fat
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 5-10 cloves garlic, chopped (can you tell I love garlic?)
  • 8 large sweet peppers, chopped 
  • 1 large can (32 oz.?) organic roasted tomatoes with basil
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • Sea salt & pepper

Instructions:

  1. Heat fat in a large saucepan and add onions and garlic
  2. Cook for 5-10 minutes until softened and fragrant and then add chopped peppers
  3. Add sea salt and pepper and stir every couple of minutes for about 5-10 minutes until peppers begin to soften
  4. Add can of roasted tomatoes and chicken broth
  5. Bring pot to boil and then cover, turn to low/medium-low, and cook for 30-45 minutes
  6. Take pot off heat, and after it cools slightly (~10 minutes), use immersion blender to blend the soup. If you don't have an immersion blender, you can blend this in batches in your blender or food processor.
  7. Serve with a dollop of shredded pork carnitas
  8. Rename Goodbye Soup to See-You-Later Soup (way better ring to it...)