Canh cai soong (watercress soup with shitake mushroom and chopped bacon)
Canh trung ca chua (tomato and eggdrop soup)
I am not a big fan of canh (Vietnamese soup). I normally find it too watery to be poured over steamed rice. The hubby finds it too bland in general so I rarely make it. Admittedly though, when I'm too tired to cook I tend to crave for a bowl of steaming hot canh. Served on its own, it is a wonderfully light snack and a kind of pick-me-up that I need now and then.
To make a decent bowl of canh you need decent broth and decent broth, in my opinion, definitely needs some proper pork bones in it (Wandering Chopsticks has a good post on how to make broth for canh)
If you are lazy (like me), a simple broth can be made by frying some ginger and then adding ready made chicken/vegetable stock.
Below are the most basic canh you can conjure up in a matter of minutes.
Canh Cai Soong (Watercress Soup - my version)
My adopted granddad Muoi (my grandma's 10th brother) loved this soup when he was alive. He was a bachelor all his life so he spent quite a few years living with my family. He doted on me when I was little and obviously he was like a granddad to me. He's gone for quite a few years now but I still miss him dearly every time I make this soup.
Bacon (1 slice - cut into thin strips)
1 cup of chicken stock
3 chopped shiitake mushrooms
Fry bacon in a bit of oil until the meat has changed colour.
Pour hot stock and shiitake mushrooms in the pot
Let it boil for 5 minutes, taste and adjust if necessary.
Quickly blanch watercress in the boiling broth, turn the heat off
Canh trung ca chua (Tomato and eggdrop soup)
I make this soup fairly often as a student (since it costs next to nothing to make). It's guaranteed to be fool-proof :)
Ingredients (serves 1)
3 tomatoes, chopped into 8 chunks each
chopped spring onion to garnish
chicken stock (1 and a half cup)
Fry tomatoes in a bit of oil (5 mins would do)
Pour hot stock into the pan and wait until it starts boiling
Turn the heat down 1 notch and crack the egg into the pan, stir it around, make sure you pierce the yolk as well because you don't want to end up eating a boiled egg yolk in your canh.
Garnish with a bit of spring onions and serve (take care when eating the tomatoes since they stay hot for quite a long time - FYI I burnt my tongue last time trying to eat it too fast D'oh)