Today was the start of the final soup offering in the Hale and Hearty Chef's Series soups. You can read my past reviews here, here, and here for their previous three offerings. Today I will talk about Chef Gabrielle Hamilton's Late Night Line Cook Shift Meal. It's described as: "From acclaimed Chef Gabrielle Hamilton comes this Asian-inspired soup. Delicately sauteed shrimp and ground pork are combined with lemongrass, ginger and kaffir lime leaves to create this fragrant soul warming soup. Served over tender rice noodles, nothing else is needed except for maybe some sleep."
Wow. This was an amazing soup. There is a clear Thai influence on this soup. I could taste something similar to green curry along with the lemongrass and kaffir lime soaking in the chicken stock. The soup also has celery, onion, rice, ground pork, shrimp, rice noodles, and green herbs. What, to me, tastes of green curry offers a really nice kick of heat to go with the flavor, and the ground pork adds a great richness to the soup. The rice and rice noodles give the soup a little bit of body as well as giving the soup a filling feeling. My only gripes are that the shrimp were a touch rubbery, and the soup was a touch on the salty side.
Overall, I'm having a difficult time picking my favorite of the series between this soup and Chef Bloomfield's Ribollita. Where that had a great freshness to the soup, this was an explosion of flavor. At the end of the day I think I have to give the nod to this soup. Despite the small drawbacks, the depth and boldness of the flavors give it that slight edge. I'll be sure to get this again.