I know… people are supposed to hate liver. But it’s good for you! Beef liver is high in vitamins A, D, E, K, B12 and folic acid, and minerals such as copper and iron, and it has a decent amount of vitamin C, too. No wonder in my nutrition class in cooking school the teacher told us about the exam on vitamins in food: “when in doubt, answer ‘liver’ and ‘egg yolk'”.
Of course, there’s a difference both in taste and nutrition profile between the liver from an animal that has been raised in a feedlot and that of an animal that has been raised on a farm. When I asked Mr Farmer about the difference in taste between beef, lamb and pork liver he told me all of them are pretty mild-tasting provided that the animal was clean (all of his animals are, of course).
I’m one of those few people who actually like liver. My grandmother fed me some sort of blended soup with a strong offal taste (I think she mixed sweetbreads and liver) that I loved and still remember with nostalgia. One of my favourite dishes in my mum’s dinner repertoire was fried liver with sautéed onions & tomatoes and a splash of red wine vinegar served with rice.
Since I moved in with Alvaro I’ve been eating a lot less liver, mainly because he doesn’t like it and I refuse to cook two different meals. I’ve cooked it a few times, he has eaten it mainly because he had no choice. I noticed he didn’t protest as much when the liver was finely chopped and mixed with something else (as in these crispy liver hash brown patties) so I started sneaking chopped liver in some of our breakfasts, too.
But there was still something missing in my life and it was that thick unappealing liquid that nurtured me in my early years. I proceeded to prepare a batch of soup with what I had on hand, and it turned out delicious, although I didn’t achieve the same taste profile. I’ll keep trying, I guess.
I cooked a batch of the soup and froze it in individual servings to have it in lazy nights when I don’t feel like cooking. Sometimes I top it with crispy bacon bits and/or a soft-boiled egg, and I usually throw in whatever veggies I have on hand.
Yield: Serves 3
- 2 tablespoons ghee or butter
- 250 gr beef liver, chopped
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 50 gr mushrooms, sliced
- 4 small zucchini, sliced
- 2 cups beef stock
- dried oregano
- salt and pepper
- 150 gr bacon, chopped (optional)
- Heat ghee in a pot, add liver and cook until browned.
- Add onion, cook for a few minutes until it starts to soften.
- Add mushrooms and zucchini, cook for a few minutes until tender.
- Transfer to food processor or blender, add stock and blend.
- Return soup to pot, season with oregano, salt and pepper, heat it until desired serving temperature.
- If using bacon, fry it in a pan until crispy.
- Serve soup with bacon on top (a la croutons).