Soupy Soups

Cold rainy days calls for hot hearty soups and that’s just what Auntie Lily prepared for us.  

Early in the week we had a hearty “Fish Head with Chicken Feet Soup”.  A cantonese recipe, its main ingredients were meaty fish head and chicken feet (aka “adidas”), add in raw peanuts, barley, sliced ginger, leeks and baguio pechay, and you have a one-dish-meal that warm the stomach as well as the spirit.  

A few days after, we had one of my favorite “Pork Spareribs Soup”.  This is our short-cut version of hot-pot or shabu-shabu.  The main ingredients were, off course, pork spareribs and assorted meat and seafood balls. Try to buy the white “Kisses” shaped ones, it has a filling made of roe-like stuffing that bursts with flavor when you bite into it. Careful though when hot, the soupy filling could burn your tongue.  Add in fresh corn, carrots and baguio pechay and it’s like autumn in a bowl.  Light and flavorful.  Sometimes I would add a dallop of “Bull Head Brand” sate sauce (the only sate sauce we like) and it’s as close to shabu-shabu in a bowl as I can get.

Later in the week, Aunt Lily tried a new recipe, another cantonese dish, “Fish Head with Pork Soup”.  According to cantonese chefs, seafood cooked with meat enhances both flavors and makes for a savory soup.  Add in the basic aromatics of ginger and leeks, which according to chinese herbalists are “hot” food and another heart-warming soup was served.  Perfect on a cold rainy day.

Finally, we went native and had good old “Tinolang Manok” (Chicken Ginger Soup with Vegetables).  I think what makes “Tinolang Manok” tinolang manok were ginger, malunggay or sili leaves and patis (fish sauce).  These are so filipino ingredients that without them it would not be Tinolang Manok.  Light, clear and flavorful, this soup’s so simple to make yet so filling. Perfect with hot plain rice and patis on the side. 

Aunt Lily prefers to slow cook the soup over a charcoal burner. We’ve had ours for like 5 years now and it’s still burning coals.  Like the traditional cooks, she believes cooking over charcoal imparts a richer flavor to food.  Whether it’s the smoke or the claypot, I can’t say but what I can say is that our soups are the best.

Don’t wait for the rain to have soup, anyday can be a soup day.  

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