First you have to read an old post to understand my approach toward preparing food for a sick family member.
Done? Okay. So, Speedy had been on a soft diet following a bout with a virus that makes it difficult for him to swallow solids. He’s getting better and his appetite is almost normal. And that almost normal appetite must be satisfied even if he can only tolerate soft, almost mushy, food. For his dinner tonight, he had misua and vegetables soup. Misua cooks fast and is naturally soft. The vegetables — carrots, celery, squash and Romaine lettuce — I simmered longer than usual so that they were almost mushy.
And the broth… ahhhh, more than half a dozen things went into the broth to make it rich and tasty, and nutritious.
A whole chicken went into a pot and covered with water. It simmered slowly with a whole onion, half a head of garlic, peppercorns, celery leaves, half a carrot, a bay leaf, salt and sweet corn. The corn, I scooped out as soon as they were done (Sam and I ate some of them; the rest, I added to a chicken stew).
That broth, packed with the flavors and fragrance of the vegetables and aromatics, was used to make the misua and vegetables soup. Nothing complicated. I scooped out some of the broth into a small pan, I added diced celery stalks, cubed carrot and squash, and simmered everything together. When the vegetables were soft, I added misua and a few lettuce leaves, and let everything boil gently for half a minute. I covered the pan, let the misua and vegetables soften some more in the residual heat, and Speedy’s soup was ready.
But, surely, Speedy didn’t eat misua soup all day?
No, he didn’t. For breakfast, we had taho.
Taho is a soft bean curd served with palm sugar syrup and sago. You can read all about it — including how ambulant vendors sell it — in a post about how we ate taho for breakfast at the Legazpi Airport.
And all that is just a small part of my interpretation of soft diet.