Main Course/ Pork/ Recipes/ Soup

Spicy Pork and Kale Soup

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Oh my gosh, you guys, I am so sorry it’s taken me so long to post! I never intended to just go MIA for the past two weeks but we’ve been traveling to visit both sets of families and just got home yesterday after being gone for 12 days. It was a wonderful crazy trip and I have a whole post on it coming soon. Forgive me?

No lie, this is absolutely the recipe I have cooked the most over the past year. I usually make it once a month and Adam and I both just gobble it up. The original recipes comes from an older issue of Bon Appetit and it’s truly just the best. The flavor combination is very unique and it only takes twenty minutes to make. Trust me, it really does. I know this because I can usually squeeze twenty minutes out of Grayson in the bouncy chair while I cook before he starts to fuss and wants to be picked up. We are definitely in a season of “fast food” and this soup fits the bill!

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Prior to making this soup for the first time I had never bought ground pork before! It’s awesome and very affordable. The half pound needed for this recipe only costs a couple bucks and if you have all the other ingredients on hand, which I normally do, it’s a super cheap and delicious weeknight meal.

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It seriously tastes like a dish I would rave about at an Asian restaurant! I love how it’s loaded down with protein and greens, too, which makes me feel like I’m being exceptionally healthy. πŸ˜‰

This soup is definitely more of a winter dish (when kale is in season) but I make it all year especially when I’m feeling under the weather. Today we are all feeling a little down with jetlag and exhaustion after our big trip so I knew it would make a great dinner tonight. I hope you enjoy as much as we do and I promise to be back really soon with a lifestyle post all about our trip!

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Spicy Pork and Kale Soup

very slightly adapted from Bon Appetit

serves 4

Print this Recipe!


1/2 lb ground pork

1 tsp chopped ginger

1/2 tsp whole black peppercorns

1/4 tsp lemon zest

3/4 tsp red pepper flakes

1/2 tsp cumin seeds

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tsp vegetable oil

4 cups chicken broth

4 scallions, sliced thin

1 large bunch curly kale, roughly chopped

2 tbsp soy sauce

1 tsp fish sauce

8 oz rice noodles


If you have a mortar and pestle use it to smash together the peppercorns and lemon zest. If not, use the back of a knife on a cutting board (carefully). Do the same thing with the cumin seeds. Place the smashed peppercorns, lemon zest, smashed cumin seeds, red pepper flakes, ginger and garlic in a medium size bowl. Mix well then add the ground pork and mix very well to combine the spices with the pork. Set aside.

In a heavy bottomed pot, add the oil and heat over medium high heat. When hot, add the seasoned ground pork. Sprinkle with salt and break up pork with a spoon. Cook for about 5 minutes, until pork is done.

Add the chicken broth to the pot along with the scallions, fish sauce and soy sauce. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for about 6 minutes to allow the flavors to combine. Add the kale — don’t worry if it seems like a crazy huge amount, it will cook down! — and stir well. Keep simmering for about 10 minutes while you prepare the noodles.

In another pot, cook the rice noodles in boiling salted water. Drain and rinse with cold water. Set aside.

To serve the soup, place some rice noodles at the bottom of bowls. Ladle soup on top. Serve with sriracha if you desire but keep in mind that this soup already has a big kick!


~20 minutes


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  • Isabel
    August 12, 2014 at 3:27 pm

    This looks amazing-especially in SF where we have chilly weather year round! If we don’t have peppercorns or cumin seeds could we use ground pepper and cumin powder?

    • jenna
      August 12, 2014 at 3:46 pm

      I haven’t tried it that way but I don’t really see why not. I would half the amount of spices though – so use 1/4 tsp ground pepper and 1/4 tsp cumin.

  • Laura
    August 12, 2014 at 3:35 pm

    This sounds so good!!! I think I’m going to add this to our menu next week.

    • Tom @ Raise Your Garden
      August 13, 2014 at 3:43 am

      I agree! The fam is going to have to have this right away. We love soups in Buffalo!

  • K
    August 12, 2014 at 3:50 pm

    Man, I’ve missed your recipes!!! You always have THE BEST recipes and they are always so tasty and easy to prepare. This soup sounds fantastic! Can’t wait to make it.

  • Amanda
    August 12, 2014 at 4:59 pm

    Does it freeze well?

  • Morgan
    August 12, 2014 at 6:33 pm

    You have so many ads that your website freezes my computer almost every time I visit :/ or at least lags it. Unfortunate. Enjoy motherhood!

  • Heather
    August 12, 2014 at 7:32 pm

    How funny. One of the meals that we “discovered” once we had a baby was a kale and ground pork sausage stir fry. Except, we usually cheat and buy chorizo — already spiced, and you just have to mix the kale and chorizo together for a quick, delicious meal. Plus it’s easy enough that my husband can make it while I’m preoccupied with the squish πŸ™‚ This sounds like a great riff off that recipe — when I have more time I’ll have to give it a try!

  • Heather Michelle @ A Sweet Simple Life
    August 12, 2014 at 7:34 pm

    This looks incredible… Reminds me of your Asian chicken noodle soup with bok choy (oneofmyfavoritesoupsever!) We make that about once a month in the colder months, but I can’t wait to try this!

  • Jenny
    August 12, 2014 at 9:28 pm

    I can’t tell you how many times I’ve made this since it was on the cover of Bon Appetit! A favorite of mine too!! Easy to adjust the spice based on who you’re feeding (I like it spicy!) and what greens you have in the fridge. And even better leftover when the noodles have soaked up a lot of the broth.

  • Caitlin @ teaspoon
    August 13, 2014 at 1:38 am

    It’s a cold and rainy day where I live today, so this soup would be perfect! And twenty minutes sounds manageable as well πŸ™‚

  • Bri | Bites of Bri
    August 13, 2014 at 4:07 am

    I love these flavor combinations! It sounds like authentic flavors meat comfort food = perfection. Can’t wait to hear about the trip.

  • Jenny
    August 13, 2014 at 4:18 am

    I thought you got lost =( I’m realy happy you’re back!
    This receipt sounds verry good. I think I try it with my girls on our Lady-Night πŸ™‚

    Greetings from Germany

  • Anne @
    August 13, 2014 at 4:32 am

    Asian-style noodles for my Dad, and ground pork for my mom…. this is getting sent straight to my parents, it is right up their ally!

    Hopefully they share with me πŸ˜‰

  • Molly @ Yes to Yolks
    August 13, 2014 at 5:15 am

    This looks so cozy and wonderful. I am a soup fanatic and eat them year round. This one is moving to the top of my “must make” list! Hope you all enjoyed your trip…it must feel wonderful to be back home and settled.

  • Chelsea @ Designs on Dinner
    August 13, 2014 at 6:10 am

    I made a similar soup a few weeks ago…sausage, kale & lentil stew. So yummy! I’ll definitely have to keep some in the freezer for chilly days.

  • Hayley@healthyregards
    August 13, 2014 at 6:28 am

    oh my! Love this! Reminds me of pho!

  • Colleen
    August 13, 2014 at 6:41 am

    Not a kale fan but you are so enthusiastic about it I may try with a little wilted spinach. Glad you’ve been enjoying summer trips, no apologies needed!

  • Janelle
    August 13, 2014 at 7:00 am

    Totally forgiven. πŸ˜‰ This looks delicious – setting it aside for the next time we get kale in our CSA bag.

    • Janelle
      August 13, 2014 at 7:04 am

      P.S. I just ate ground pork with diced apples, cinnamon, and nutmeg for breakfast (and a runny egg – yum). Who needs fancy breakfast sausage?

  • Heather
    August 13, 2014 at 8:31 am

    Just read your book a couple of months ago and I loved it!

    This looks awesome, I am already setting myself up in soup mode, this is why I love fall food πŸ™‚

  • Lauren C
    August 13, 2014 at 8:47 am

    This looks absolutely delicious and reminds me of a ramen bowl I had one time while on vacation, except much more streamlined. Got this one saved to my bookmarks, looks perfect for a weeknight meal!

  • spotlight | This is for Real
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  • Debbie B
    August 13, 2014 at 9:38 am

    So glad you’re back! I look forward to seeing your recipes!

  • Kristin
    August 13, 2014 at 1:13 pm

    If I’m not a huge “spicy” person….I know, gasp…..what would you recommend to cut the spice but keep the flavor?

  • stacey
    August 13, 2014 at 2:22 pm

    I’m excited to hear about your trip(s)! This looks amazing, and I plan on making the heck out of it once it’s not 100+ anymore! Considering I live in San Antonio, I won’t be enjoying this until December πŸ™

  • Paige Varney
    August 13, 2014 at 5:18 pm

    I’ll admit, I was a little concerned about not seeing any posts! Glad to know you guys are awesome!

  • Chand
    August 14, 2014 at 2:28 pm

    Do you think I could substitute a bag of baby kale for the curly kale?

  • Carrie
    August 14, 2014 at 8:46 pm

    Welcome home and thanks for sharing the recipe! I don’t eat pork– do you think ground/shredded turkey or chicken would be a decent substitute? Thanks so much.

  • Rachel
    August 14, 2014 at 10:54 pm

    Made this tonight with ground turkey and it was fantastic!! My husband has a bit of a cold and he loved it and said it made him feel better! Thanks Jenna!!!!

  • Chrissy
    August 15, 2014 at 4:39 am

    Made this last night. It was a miserable, rainy night and the soup hit the spot. DELISH!! I’m so glad you’re back to posting recipes. I’d was getting stale in the kitchen πŸ˜‰

  • #Droolworthy - The Kitchen Paper
    August 18, 2014 at 10:17 pm

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  • Kate @ Β‘Hola! JalapeΓ±o
    August 20, 2014 at 4:09 am

    Ooooo, this looks incredible! Thank you for sharing!

  • Friday Favorites | Iowa Girl Eats
    August 22, 2014 at 2:01 am

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    August 22, 2014 at 2:19 am

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    September 12, 2014 at 7:16 am

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  • Pam
    September 22, 2014 at 6:35 pm

    You had me at pork and kale. Great recipe πŸ™‚

  • Caroline
    October 19, 2014 at 4:55 pm

    It’s starting to get chilly in NYC. Made this for dinner tonight. It was AMAZING! Thanks so much.

  • Gwen
    October 26, 2014 at 11:55 am

    As a lover of both kale and pork sausage, I was excited about this one, but I found the flavor one-note, like I hadn’t put spices into the ground pork at all. I usually have good luck with Eat Live Run recipes!

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  • deb
    February 2, 2017 at 9:57 am

    So glad your blog is back! Love it!

  • Lucia Harrison
    March 17, 2017 at 9:36 am

    I love this soup, have made it a number of time, always turns out great!

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  • Lucia Harrison
    January 22, 2021 at 3:38 pm

    Update, have made ths numerous timesa, always works great. Made some today, decided to double the batch and realized I did not have enough chicken broth. Used 50% Pho broth, and it was delicious as well. So yummy.