Monggo soup is a staple dish in Filipino homes. It is usually cooked with either dried shrimp or pork bits and topped with pork rind (chicharon). You also accompany this dish with bitter gourd (ampalaya), sweet potato (kamote) or morniga (malunggay) leaves and is also usually paired with chicken or pork adobo.
When I was in Dumaguete, I learned a new way of making monggo soup. In Nikki’s kitchen, monggo is cooked with lemongrass, coconut milk and little slices of squash. A wonderful new take on a simple dish that easily became a crowd favorite.
I didn’t have all the ingredients in the refrigerator but I had enough to work with. No squash but I had one carrot. No lemongrass, just tom yum and curry powder. No moringa, bitter gourd or sweet potato leaves but basil leaves instead. And so, the experiment began.
As I waited for my monggo to soften and cook, I sat in the kitchen and listened to the torrential downpour that suddenly hit Manila. It was a little frightening but I couldn’t help but be thankful for the relief from the insufferable heat. I was also thankful for a quiet an uneventful Sunday.