It has been raining practically every day. This month could be the wettest December here in several years. We don’t have a winter season, it is called the monsoon season. It is usually hot and sunny in the morning followed by mid-day thundery showers that last well into the evening rush hour. The weather report says that the amount of rain recorded for the four days of December alone is already half that seen for the entire month last year! I think my mint plant has become the latest casualty of this rainy season.
So, my thoughts have turned to making soup. It’s light and healthy and a perfect accompaniment to tonight’s meal of miso grilled codfish, stir fried vegetables and rice.
1 lb lean pork
1 lb green radish
1 lb carrots
2 honey dates
4 red dates
2 dried figs
1 Tbsp Chinese south almonds (optional)
1 Tbsp Chinese north almonds (optional)
10 cups of water
1. Cut the pork into slices of 1/2 inch thickness. Boil a small pot of water to blanch the pork slices. Drain and set the pork aside.
2. Peel the green radish and carrots. Wash and cut into chunks of 1 inch thickness.
3. Rinse the honey dates, red dates, figs, north and south almonds and set aside.
4. Put all the ingredients into a big pot and add 10 cups of water. Cook on high heat and bring to a boil.
5. Reduce the heat and let it simmer on low heat for one to one and half hours. Add salt to taste and serve hot.
Note: North and south almonds can be found in Chinese grocery shops. They are actually apricot kernels. They don’t add any discernible flavor to the soup but are common ingredients in traditional soups – they are supposed to relieve internal heat and soothe coughs.