Building soup from the bones of a previous meal is a little like working in Dr. Frankenstein's lab. You build from parts you have lying around and hope for the best. It can become a tragedy with a moral about flying too close to the sun or a screwball comedy with belly laughs depending one how things go.
I started a few days ago with two smoked pork chop bones and a little water. The chops had been too salty for our taste, so I didn't finish mine and wasn't overly concerned about adding a lot of diluting water.
After simmering the bones and leftover meat for a few hours, the water tasted hammy but no longer salty. I eighty-sixed the bones and started building from there. It has been cold here, and gray, so soup from the South sounded just right - Mexico, here we come.
First, I softened half a chopped onion and a big pressed garlic clove in a little butter. Sprinkled about a teaspoon each of cumin and chili powder into the pan and cooked until they were fragrant. Then added a can of black beans, about a cup of frozen corn kernels, the shredded meat from the chops, the chop broth and a couple of cups of chicken broth.
When that had simmered together, I tasted the soup and found that it was spicy and tasty but needed salt and something else. The something was about a tablespoon of tomato paste and another of Sartain's Menu Sauce to give it a tad more heat, smoke and body. Next, two small chopped ripe tomatoes from far, far away. And, finally, a handful of corn chips to add crunch to the slurp.
Warm, hearty and sustaining, layer by layer, it brought the warmth of sunshine and light to our winter-chilled souls. OMG, it's alive! It's ali-i-i-i-ive!