Raining again today, the weather is begging for soup. After a day in the fridge I brought out my pot of pea soup, put it on the stove and lifted the lid. Looking up at me was a pot of totally congealed green goo. So thick that a heavy ladle stood straight up in it, and I was able to slice it like cake. Which I did.
It's really rather pretty, just not exactly soup-like. Note to self: when making soup with headcheese stock, make sure to water it down. My soups solid nature was easily fixed by being placed back on the stove over a low flame. While my soup was slowly returning to a liquid state I got busy slicing my cooked pig's ear. The ears were sticky, with a mildly gelatinous exterior over a hard cartilage that gives the ear its structure. I had four ears but only sliced two in case I needed to adjust the width of my slicing.
With my soup melting and my ears sliced I needed to heat my oil and fry my ears. Now, my recipe warned me that ears tend to spatter when they fry even when they're dry. This is very, very true. I'm fairly sure that there is oil on my ceiling, and I have several little burn marks from badly chosen moments of stirring. Frying pig's ears is not a dull experience.
When they were all fried I had a beautiful pile of crunchy and chewy pigs ears to top my soup with.
I seasoned my soup with salt, fresh black pepper and a little cider vinegar. With a few more tastes I determined that a little hot sauce was needed so some of that went in the pot, and then it was ready. With bowl and spoon in hand it was time to taste.
The soup was very thick and viscous, and the crispy pig's ear topping was a little chewy and had a lovely salty falvour. All in all an exceptionally filling bowl of soup full of hearty flavors and a lots of texture. An excellent beginning to my nose to tail eating experience courtesy of Fergus Henderson's The Whole Beast.