Inspired by my travels in Cambodia, this Pork and Cucumber Soup is easy, fast, and bursting with flavor!
I have to tell you guys something- this is more than just another random soup recipe. Wait, I take that back. Yes, technically it is. But, to me, this is more than just soup. Don’t worry, I’ll give you the short version of the story.
I first had this pork and cucumber soup, or a soup like it, while in Cambodia with my husband. We were traveling through Southeast Asia without a return date set, so we had all the time in the world to do whatever we wanted. Put in contact with a local orphanage, we decided to spend some time with the children volunteering. One night we were welcomed to stay for dinner. We humbly accepted. After all, these children and the people who run the orphanage literally have nothing. To offer a warm meal with rice is a big deal. We were incredibly grateful.
It was a pork and cucumber soup with a side of rice.
I have to admit, before taking my first bite I was skeptical. Cucumber in soup…really? Well, as you may imagine, I was more than pleasantly surprised by how well the cucumber tasted in soup. My husband agreed.
In fact, we fell so deeply in love with this humble pork and cucumber soup that it was the first thing we made for our family when we arrived home, 6 months later, from our travels abroad.
Cambodian Pork and Cucumber Soup
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 yellow onions - chopped
- 4 stalks celery - chopped
- 1/2 pounds cubed pork - see note
- 8 cloves garlic - minced
- 2 tsp Italian seasoning
- 1 tsp salt - plus more to taste
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 3 tbsp fresh chopped parsley - plus more for serving
- 6-8 cups water or chicken broth
- 2 English cucumber - chopped
- Place the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the chopped onion and sauté for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until onions are soft and translucent. Stir in the celery and cook with the onions for 2 minutes. Add the pork to the pot and mix well to combine. Cook, stirring frequently, for 3-4 minutes before adding the minced garlic, Italian seasoning, salt, black pepper, and chopped parsley to the pot. Stir well to combine and cook for 1 minute more.
- Add the water or chicken broth to the pot and bring to a boil. Add the chopped cucumber, reduce heat to low and cover. Simmer soup for 15-20 minutes, or until vegetables are soft and cooked.
- Ladle soup into bowls and top with additional chopped parsley, if desired.