Necessity is most certainly the mother of invention when it comes to dinners some nights in my house, and this soup-y dish stretched that saying to the maximum. I suppose I could have called this “everything-but-the-kitchen-sink” but I wanted it to sound as sophisticated as it turned out to be.
I love to cook but don’t always love to shop for ingredients (unless it is a great outdoor market in some far-flung part of the world, or a really dynamite foodie emporium like Eataly in New York City!), especially if it is just to rush for supplies to my dreary supermarket for one measly dinner.
I was down to the dregs as far as choices go but was determined to find what I could and make a meal out of it. I literally put the pot on the stove with the bacon and onions before I knew what I was making. As I found things, I just added them to the pot (like the cooked ham I had mistakenly tucked into the cheese drawer in my fridge).
I ended up with a really great zesty soup that appeared out of nowhere and disappeared quickly. So, never underestimate the power of a bouillon cube, a few stripes of bacon and a 1/4 box of spaghetti!
You will need:
1 tbs olive oil
1/2 lb cooked ham, large dice
1/2 lb bacon, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 medium onion, (yellow or sweet), diced
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
juice of 1 small lime (3 tbs approx)
1 cup peas (I used frozen baby peas)
6 cups spinach leaves (if they are large, chop them)
1 tbs curry paste (I used a Patak brand medium paste)
1 tsp cayenne pepper flakes
1 veggie or chicken bouillon cube (I used Rapunzel brand)
10 cups water
1/4 lb spaghetti, broken into short pieces
1 – Prep all ingredients and put large soup pot on medium heat. Add oil and when it is warm add the chopped bacon and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the onions and garlic and continue to cook for another 8 or so minutes (until onions are soft and bacon more crispy). Next add the other seasonings (pepper flakes, stock cube) and stir.
2 – Turn heat up to high and add the water and curry paste. Bring liquid to a boil.
3 – Add the peas, spinach and bring stock back to a boil, while giving the pot a stir.
4 – Turn the heat to medium and add the spaghetti, lime juice and diced cooked ham.
5 – Cover and simmer until pasta is almost cooked (about 6 minutes). Turn heat off and let pot sit for about 10 minutes, in which time the broth will thicken and the pasta will completely cook through. Taste and add seasonings to your taste (sea-salt and/or freshly ground black pepper)
Serve in warmed bowls with lots of crusty bread, more cayenne flakes or sriracha sauce.