Chickpea, potato and chayote soup with Himalayan black salt

I am not so sure if we’re going out to dinner tonight to celebrate Sam’s birthday. If we are, we really shouldn’t stuff ourselves too much so late in the afternoon. So, I made this soup instead of a full (late) lunch. Served with buttered bread, it is filling enough for a mid-afternoon meal but light enough to be fully digested by dinner time. It’s also vegetarian. Today is a holiday, the girls are home and vegetarian Sam, the soup lover, will like this.

What is in the soup? Chickpeas, potatoes and chayote, as the title says. The broth is seasoned with Himalayan black salt and pepper. To garnish, slices of lime, mint leaves and crisp fried onion slices.

How is the broth vegetarian? You can use vegetable broth made by simmering a medley of vegetables (carrots, celery, onions and leeks are my favorites) then straining. Or, if your vegetarian requirements do not preclude broth made from animals, I recommend dashi. Sam is okay with dashi; technically, she’s more on a meatless diet than on a strict vegetarian regime.

Does it have to be Himalayan black salt? For this recipe, yes. I started seasoning the soup with sea salt but it tasted flat. It was only after adding a generous amount of Himalayan black salt that the flavor and the aroma came alive. (more)


How to scale and gut a live fish

The other day, we went to the market for fish and vegetables. As usual, I gravitated toward my favorite fish seller whose staples are live hito (catfish) and dalag (mudfish). ... (more)


Pork and herbed dumplings stew

Say dumplings in Asia and it means steamed or fried dough with meat or sweet filling. In other parts of the world, dumplings look different, taste different and may be ... (more)


Drink to live longer?

Reading health news is tricky. Although most quote from "research studies", no one really knows if the research is funded by an interested party and, hence, the results are ... (more)


Crispy fried skewered pork

During their first two years in college, Sam (who wasn't a vegetarian yet at the time) and Alex often raved about fried "isaw" (intestines) sold by ambulant vendors near the ... (more)


Chickpeas salad with fresh mango

The weekend came and went so fast. One minute, I had two daughters to cook for; the next minute, they were gone again. In the short time that they were home, I cooked dishes ... (more)