Groundhog Soup Recipe

Groundhog Soup Recipe
Although it’s probable that this particular Groundhog Soup hasn’t been served in the area where Groundhog Day (February 2nd) originated, it definitely qualifies as a politically correct Groundhog Day dish; the meatballs are made of “ground hog” (ground pork) and because they contain rice, with a bit of imagination even sort of resemble the little critters. The groundhogs cook in the broth, making it rich and delicious, before adding lots of healthy vegetables which are cooked just until crisp-tender. Yum! This soup is definitely worth a trip to the Asian grocery store where frozen finely-chopped lemon grass, Thai fish sauce, and Kaffir lime leaves are readily available.
You can, of course, substitute ground groundhog if you can find it in your area, or if you know someone who hunts, but most of us are too busy to seek it out, and since ground pork is readily available, it’s a natural for the fabulous meatballs. Besides, real groundhogs are way too cute to eat.

For those who are not up-to-speed on Groundhog Day history, according to newspaper articles by Associated Press Writer, Dan Nephin, featured in The Indiana Gazette in both 2002 and 2004, Groundhog day originated in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania – a town about 65 miles northeast of Pittsburgh. It is believed that “it grew out of what had been German superstition when German settlers brought with them the idea that if a hibernating animal casts a shadow on February 2 (the Christian holiday of Candlemas), winter will last another six weeks. If no shadow is seen, legend says spring will come early.” For those who want more information, it can be found at the Official Groundhog Day Website. Alas, the website doesn’t give any suggestions as to what is a proper traditional menu for this important day, so most of us will just have to continue serving dishes made of “ground hog.”

12 Servings

Groundhogs (Meatballs):
1 clove garlic, finely minced
2 tablespoons finely chopped lemongrass
1 1/2 tablespoons Thai fish sauce
1 egg
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup chopped green onions
2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro

1/2 cup brown Jasmine rice, or regular Jasmine rice (brown needs to simmer longer, but it’s healthier)
1 pound ground pork

10 cups chicken stock
1 to 2 tablespoons Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce
2 tablespoons finely chopped lemongrass
2 tablespoons Thai fish sauce
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
2 tablespoons fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
1 14 oz. can unsweetened coconut milk
6 kaffir lime leaves, torn
2 to 4 medium jalapeno peppers, cored, seeded, and sliced (red and/or green)

4 cups stir fry vegetables
4 cups coleslaw mix
  1. Mix the meatball ingredients together and scoop 1" balls from the mixture; refrigerate the balls until ready to cook.

  2. Meanwhile, mix the chicken broth, Sriracha, lemongrass fish sauce, lime juice, ginger, and coconut milk in a large soup pot.

  3. Bring the mixture to a boil and add the lime leaves; let the mixture simmer 10 minutes.

  4. Add the meatballs and let simmer about 60 minutes (less if not using brown rice) or until the rice is cooked through.

  5. If there's time, let the mixture cool so that any fat rises to the top (there won't be much), otherwise, skim as much of the fat as possible from the soup.

  6. Bring to a boil, add the vegetables, and let cook until crisp-tender; serve immediately.

Amount Per Serving
Calories 230 Calories from Fat 127
Percent Total Calories From: Fat 55% Protein 19% Carb. 26%

Nutrient Amount per Serving
Total Fat 14 g
Saturated Fat 9 g
Cholesterol 43 mg
Sodium 1553 mg
Total Carbohydrate 15 g
Dietary Fiber 2 g
Sugars 2 g
Protein 11 g

Vitamin A 19% Vitamin C 52% Calcium 0% Iron 11%

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