The wrinkles on her face speak untold volumes of sufferings and her joys that she faced in raising her family during the hard times.Yet she is always sitting there smiling, chatting with the people who come to buy vegetables. She gives a huge toothless smile when she sees us and it looks so adorable!
When I used to take lil angel with me to buy veggies in summer,she used to get up slowly from the little stool that she sits on and kneels near lil angel and admire her!Then she would ask something in Mandarin and lil angel,as though she understands every word, would reply back!This conversation would carry on till I finish buying the vegetables.She would kiss lil angel and wave bye.Lil angel too would do the same!The best part is lil angel just started talking and God knows what she replies coz she is just picking up a few words in Mandarin and I am sure she just her babbles to that elderly lady.But these two people talking animatedly with each other is a scene to cherish.
Now back to the vendor.Though there are more than 10 shops selling fresh produce,I get my vegetables from him and the reason you can say is that when I first came to China,that was the shop I first got the vegetables from.I went past a few shops and saw an elderly lady and a middle aged man in a shop.I still recollect that grandma sitting in a corner cleaning some vegetables and looked at me with a lot of curiosity.Maybe she was wondering where I came from or wondering how I would converse with them!It was kinda love at first site-with that grandma that is.I somehow felt she would'nt cheat me on the vegetable pricing.My landlord had warned me that some vendors might hike the price coz I am not a local but that little voice in me told me I could trust her.Neither did her grandson cheat me nor any of the other vendors from whom I rarely buy the ones I don't get at grandmas shop.
The grandson patiently weighs and tells me price of each vegetable per jin[a unit of weight in China,approx half a kilo].He always throws in a bunch of spring onions and coriander leaves for free when I buy vegetables.Even if I go there everyday he would do the same.Sometimes I would tell him I have enough and more coriander/spring onions but he would never heed and grandma would smile and ask me to accept it.
One such time when there was a large bunch of spring onions at home,I attempted this soup.I must say that it turned out delicious!!Any time I prepare this soup, the cute smile of that toothless grandma comes to my mind and somehow I feel so good inside!!!
Now to the recipe...
Spring onion-10 stalks,chopped,white and green separated
Onion-1 small,chopped finely
Garlic -2 pods,minced
Vegetable broth/Water-2 cups
Green peas-2 tablespoons,boiled
Tomato sauce-1 teaspoon[optional]
Salt and pepper to taste
- Heat a little oil and fry 1 tablespoon spring onion greens,1/2 teaspoon pepper till the onion greens brown a little and keep aside.
- Heat oil in a large pan and put in onion,spring onion whites,garlic and saute till onion is soft.
- Put in tomato and cook till soft.
- Add the cabbage,peas,remaining spring onion greens,vegetable stock,salt,tomato sauce and mix well.
- Simmer for 10 minutes.
- Serve hot garnished with fried spring onion greens[step 1]
This bowl of heart warming soup goes to Harini for the event she is hosting in her blog - Monthly mingle-Soups,an event started by Meeta