Laswa (Tropical Vegetable and Prawn Soup)
Last week, stir fried recipes were featured. Why not do a soup week this whole week?
Lets start with a healthy one after all those stir fries we had, and thinking of healthy lets start with something vegetable. Now if you think vegetable soups are not as good as its meaty counterparts then you check this one out to negate that thought as this is by far the best vegetable soup dish I had ever tried. This Ilonggo dish is like a combination of both dinengdeng and pinakbet, there are no rules on what vegetables are used but the usual ones you will see are squash, sweet potatoes, green papaya, string beans, eggplant, balatong (mung beans), okra, alugbati (malabar spinach), kulitis (native spinach), malungay (moringa leaves) and saluyot (jute leaves).
Though it may look rustic this dish presents you a with very subtle savoury taste with a hint of sweetness due to the diverse combination of vegetables. A good pair with fried or grilled dishes alongside with hot steaming rice.
- 500g large shrimps, with shells
- ½ small butternut squash, cubed
- 1 bunch string beans, sliced
- 2 eggplants, sliced
- 10 pcs okra
- 1 bunch saluyot (jute leaves)
- 4 cups chicken or seafood stock
- 1 white onion, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- sea salt or fish sauce
- freshly ground black pepper
- Remove the shells from the shrimps, set aside the shelled shrimps then keep the shells. Place shells in a blender with 2 cup of water, give it a short pulse just enough to chop the shells roughly but not pureed. Place on a fine sieve and drain the liquid, set the liquid aside.
- Add a small amount of oil in a pot then sauté garlic and onions, once onions turn soft add squash and string beans.
- Add chicken stock and liquid from blended shrimp shells; bring it to a boil then once boiling add the okra and eggplants. Simmer in medium heat for 8 minutes or until tender.
- Add shrimps and jute leaves and simmer for 2 minutes.
- Flavour with fish sauce and season with freshly ground black pepper.