I'm toying with the idea of making some soup - just a simple one. The recipe call for boiling/simmering a pig-knuckle for about four hours together with a laurel-leaf. Afterwards the stock/fond is strained, the meat stripped from the knuckle, and vegetables and the meat is put into the fond to make the soup - which should boil for another 10 minutes.
The thing is, I was wondering if I could do something more with it. I thinking about adding vegetables, herbs and spices when cooking/simmering the knuckle, to add flavor to the stock and/or meat.
I was thinking root-vegetables like celery-root, beats and carrots... perhaps leek... perhaps onions, perhaps garlic - maybe after frying them lightly in some butter (before adding the water to cook the knuckle)... I guess black pepper would be OK, but what about chili? And what about some fresh herbs and spices?
My first thought would be to strain the stock and throw-away the out-boiled vegetables, since I'll be adding fresh ones to the soup anyway... But could some (eg. the root-vegetables) or all be puraied in a mixer and added to the soup to make it "thicker" - and perhaps add flavor?
I you probably understand, I'm a lot better at eating food than making it, so any advice would be appreciated.