Pork Shoulder, Jalapeño & Udon Noodle Soup

I spent the weekend with old friends. All of whom are now Dallas transplants. We talked about the decades we’ve known one another and the individual paths we’ve all taken. One who lost a spouse to cancer and had the courage to reinvent everything about herself. One who grew out of a relationship and definition of life to embrace everything ahead with open arms. Another who challenged himself and, in turn, continually challenges everyone around him by simply showing people doors. And my best friend who took the risk of moving with me to Dallas going on 7 years ago this July.

It was one of those spectacularly unreal days you sometimes have the luck and chance to experience as we all fall freely through life.

Waking up hungry on a Sunday morning is, however, another story. I walked over to the Farmer’s Market this morning and got a great bunch of beautiful jalapeños. With the remains of a slow roasted pork shoulder in the fridge I decided to make an Udon Noodle soup.

Soups remind me of friendships. Every single ingredient transforms, like people, in relation to everything around it. What makes it delicious is the variety and the sharing.


2 medium carrots, chopped
1 large white onion, chopped
2 tbsp Olive Oil
6 cloves garlic, crushed with the blunt side of a blade
4 jalapeños, seeded and chopped
1 lbs baby spinach, chopped
8 cups fresh chicken stock
3 cups shredded Roasted Pork Shoulder, leftovers in my case
1 (8-ounce package) udon noodles, prepared according to package directions
1 cup fresh basil leaves, for garnish
3 tbsp Turmeric
Kosher salt & ground pepper to season
Zest of one lemon
1 cup julienned celery, for garnish


Heat a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat.
Add 2 tablespoons oil.
Add the carrots and onions and saute until they begin to caramelize.
Add garlic and jalapeño.
Saute until the vegetables become aromatic, about 1 minute.
Add a dash more oil and the spinach.
Stir in the chicken stock, pork, turmeric, salt and pepper.
Reduce the heat to low, cover and let simmer about 20 minutes.

To serve; ladle the soup into the bowls and garnish each with basil leaves and julienned celery.

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