Recipes for a soup kitchen

The Philippines has only two seasons, the wet and the dry weather.  During the dry months we are a tropical paradise known for some of the best beaches in the world. However during “habagat” or the rainy months of July to September, we are bombarded with tropical depression and cyclones. Habagat is the south-west monsoon, it comes with prevailing winds from the west that cause heavy rainfall.

Last week we had a storm that didn’t have a NAME, for technically we didn’t have a storm. Only the “habagat” winds that brought with it dark and very heavy rain clouds. HABAGAT bombarded the nation’s capital with a week of non-stop rain that caused devastating water everywhere.

Now we can no longer just blame the government, poor urban planning, over population, or global warming for what happened. For tons of disposed garbage clogged our sewers, rivers, creeks and waters ways which caused rapid flooding. Then just like a form of scolding from Mother Nature, the sea spanked back to the shoreline tons and tons of garbage with its strong waves. This time we have to acknowledge our part and contribution to the ruin of our environment.

They say “The Filipino spirit is waterproof.” Despite the badgering rain, we were ready unlike the 2009 great Ondoy floods. “Likas” means evacuate in our language. This time local governments were better trained and organized in evacuation procedures.  People willing left their homes when they heard “likas”, because they were aware of the imminent danger.

During and after the tragedy, soup kitchens sprouted everywhere and volunteers came to help out in the relief centers. This unique trait is called “bayanihan”, the Filipino spirit of coming together and helping one another in a time of need. It’s remarkable how despite the poverty and chaos, everyone seems to have something to give. Thus in our resilience came the tag line:  Where I come from everybody is a hero!”

Let me share two recipes that are very cost-effective and can feed many :

CHICKEN ARROZ CALDO (Chicken Rice Porridge)
Serves 50 people


3 Tablespoons cooking oil
2  Onions, diced
¼  cup  garlic, minced
¼  cup ginger, sliced
3  kilos Chicken meat (deboned and cut into cubes)
10  liters chicken stock ( use bones of chicken for stock or chicken cubes)
To  taste – fish sauce
1 kilo glutinous rice (malagkit)
2 kilos long grain rice
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup green onion, chopped
Fish sauce (to taste)
Calamansi juice (optional)


Heat the oil in a very large pot.
Sauté onion, garlic and ginger.
Add the chicken cubes, sauté until meat turns opaque.
Pour the chicken broth into the pot and let simmer.
Add glutinous rice and keep on stirring.
After a few minutes, add the long grain rice, keep stirring and bring to a boil.
Keep on stirring so rice does not burn and stick to the bottom of the pan.
Cook until rice granules are soft.
Adjust flavor with salt, pepper, fish sauce, and calamansi juice.
Top with spring onions.

Serve in biodegradable cups.

Serves 50 people

3 kilos chicken deboned and meat cut into small cubes
250 g or 1 cup carrots (sliced thinly into strips)
250g or 1 cup celery (sliced thinly into strips)
500 g or 2 cups cabbage (sliced thinly into strips)
3 tablespoons cooking oil
2  onions minced
10 liters chicken stock (use the chicken bones for stock or chicken cubes)
2 kilos macaroni noodles
10 eggs beaten
Salt and pepper, fish sauce to taste

Cut chicken meat into cubes.
Cut celery, cabbage, and carrots into thin strips.
Heat oil in a very large pot, sauté onions and garlic.
Add diced chicken and sauté.
Pour in chicken stock and bring to a boil.
Add the macaroni noodles, stir and let cook.Check macaroni package for cooking time of noodles.
When pasta is almost “al dente” (firm to the bite) add the carrots, celery, and cabbage.
Stir in eggs and let cook for another minute.

Serve in biodegradable cups.

Note: Original recipe has milk but we will omit this to prevent spoilage. For this recipe we will use eggs instead to provide protein.


About Pam

Teacher, cook, foodie, wanderlust
This entry was posted in blog, Food, Philippine Cuisine, Philippines and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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