Beet and Pork Soup (Canh Cu Den)

This was my favorite soup growing up. My mom would make it often as Vietnamese often have a soup, or Canh, to go with our dinners. The color on this soup is unbelievable! I love its vibrant color and texture. Can't beat this beet soup with the other popular root vegetable, the carrot. I'm using some cut pieces of rib ends that will make the soup hearty. The use of fish sauce helps as well to give some savory depth to this soup.

beet soup.JPG
beet soup.JPG

RECIPE for 6 servings.

1 lb of red beets, cut into 1x1 cubes
1 carrots, cut into 1x1 cubes
1 bunch of cilantro, chopped
1.5 lb pork bones, should already be cut to 3-inch pieces by the butcher
1 lb pork ribs, cut into 2x2 pieces
8 cups of water
1 tbs salt
1 tbs sugar
3-4 large cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 tsp fresh cracked black pepper

Wash pork pieces with salt and cold water, until water runs clear. Drain.
Toss in minced garlic to the pork.
Set on high heat, add 1 tbs of cooking oil to pot. Add in pork pieces.
Sear for 5-7 mins until the outer edges of the pork rib has a slight golden color. The pork bones can stay put without tossing them.
Add in the beets and carrots. Add salt, sugar and black pepper. Then the water.
Cook on med-high heat for 25-30 mins, or until vegetables are tender.
Taste the soup and add more salt to your liking. Add in chopped cilantro at the very end and turn off heat. 

Serve by itself as a hearty soup or with steamed rice for a more Vietnamese-style meal.