All I did last month was ate soup and watched anime because I caught the flu. I recovered, but in less than two weeks I caught a cold (unbelievable). After being sick for almost all of January, I’m happy to say that I’m finally better! So, in this post I’m sharing a very easy vegetable soup recipe that is healthy and delicious. What I like about this recipe is that you can customize it with whatever vegetables or soup broth you like. I like to stick with the basics – carrots, celery, onions, and tomatoes. It was my first time attempting a soup like this and it came out great!
A few weeks ago, I wrote a brief post about my parents’ garden (check it out here). I didn’t take many photos then because I was a chicken, and ran away when I spotted a bumble bee. On this day, I woke up around 8 am on a Saturday morning, let the dog out, and took more photos of my parents’ garden.
These cucumbers are so good, and I was very happy my mom had a few left for my sister and I to take back to our apartment. Before coming home to visit my parents, my mom told me that some of her relatives were asking for some of her veggies, and I was worried there wouldn’t be any left for my sister and I.
Next to the cucumbers are the long green beans. My favorite Chinese dish is Sichuan stir-fry green beans, so I’m looking forward to making that this week for lunch/dinner. Of course, right when I took these photos (of the cucumbers and green beans) a few bumble bees flew near my ear and landed on the flower. It took so much will-power to not scream, and wake up the neighbors.
Towards the back of their garden, they have a persimmon tree.
Of course, we have a lot of Thai basil.
They also grew some peppermints.
There’s also a Kaffir lime tree. As a child, I used to pick the lime leaves because it smells nice. As I grew older, I learned that the leaves are used in most Southeast Asian Cuisines.
Lemongrass, also used in many Southeast Asian cuisines.
In the front yard, we have a pomegranate tree. I think there was a plum tree next to it, and a banana tree too. I wasn’t sure because again, I saw a bee and maybe a spider – nope I’m not staying long (terrified of bees and spiders haha).
Before I left my parents house, mom packed some cucumbers and long green beans for my sister and I.
This past weekend I went home to visit my parents. Usually, I would stay indoors and be lazy while my mom spoils me with her amazing food. I have yet to reach her level of cooking skills, but a lot of my friends (and ex-boyfriends) has complimented my cooking skills (lets just say my ex gained a few extra pounds when we were dating haha).
It’s amazing how fresh vegetables and herbs can really transform your dishes, and I really appreciate it when my mom gives us bags loaded with veggies/herbs for my sister and I to bring back to our apartment. It saves us time on grocery shopping, and on grocery expenses. But sometimes, our mom gives us a little too much. She would usually give a bag of cucumbers, herbs, or zip lock bags of Thai Chili Peppers (which I still haven’t used them all up yet). When we tell her we don’t need any of it she says, “I still have more in the garden, so take it.” And often, she would make us feel guilty by saying, “do you want me to finish all these ingredients by herself?”
Currently, my parents’ garden consist of a mango tree, tomato tree, lime tree, and orange tree. Corn, Lemon grass (mom uses this for her amazing Thai curry/soup), cucumber, Thai basil, Thai chili peppers, mint, green onions and many more. One of my favorite vegetables from my parents’ backyard is green papaya. I love it when my mom asks me if I want to make Thai papaya salad. When I feel like making it, she would then go out to pick a papaya (I was too short to reach for one myself), and we would start preparing the dish.
It’s a very nice feeling to just go out into a garden and carefully pick your vegetable/ herb. I’m still a newbie at picking vegetables and herbs, so when my mom asks me to go out and pick stuff for her, I’m yelling across the garden into the house, “mommy how can you tell which one is good or not?!” and she would respond by telling me to look at shape, size, color etc.
This week, my mom gave us eight cucumbers. She said to just eat them on the side with ours meals or something. Eight cucumber is a lot, and on top of other vegetables that I would like to eat, I’m worried that I won’t use them all in time before it spoils. I’ve been looking up some recipes online but I haven’t really found something that I’m interested in making. For now, I might buy humus, and eat it with the cucumbers. Hopefully, when I visit my parents again they won’t give us too much stuff to bring back.