Yesterday, when Speedy and I were discussing today’s menu, I told him that we still had the pair of pork belly slabs in the freezer and I intended to make lechon kawali. He said why don’t I just boil the meat, he’d take a portion and fry it the traditional way and cook lechon con kangkong. Alrighty, I thought, I won’t have to cook lunch. I reminded him that our supply of cooking oil was running low.
Around noon today, I got out of bed, went down and asked Speedy if he had gone to the grocery for cooking oil and kangkong. And he said he’d cook lechon con kangkong when Alex gets home from Zamboanga. Okaaaayy…
Apart from the pork belly, there was nothing else to cook but the fish in the freezer. I thawed them out, scored them, salted them and then I realized I couldn’t fry them. I could have cooked them some other way but Speedy likes his fish fried to a crisp so there really was no alternative — someone still had to go out to buy cooking oil.
While Speedy was out, I started wondering what I was going to serve the fish with. I checked the fridge — there were vegetables and there was a gallon of frozen homecooked broth. The fried fish was going to be served with vegetable soup. And I knew it was going to be one heck of a soup because the frozen broth was made from a combination of beef shank bones and pork tail. I made three gallons of broth from the those bones and I really squeezed out every drop of flavor from them.
Easy, tasty, chunky vegetable soup
- Pour the broth into a pot and heat.
- Dice (you may also julienne, if you wish) the onion, tomatoes, carrot, celery and bell pepper.
- Finely slice the cabbage.
- Add all the vegetables to the broth and bring to the boil. Season with salt and / or fish sauce and pepper. Lower the heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
- When the vegetables are soft, taste the broth and add more salt and / or fish sauce and pepper, as needed.
- Stir in a generous splash of Worcestershire sauce.
- Serve hot.