February 07, 2022

5 Filipino Soup Dishes to Keep You Warm on Rainy Days

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  • People usually look towards a bowl of soup to warm their bodies when temperatures go down, usually during winter. Here in the Philippines, soup dishes become more popular as the weather turns from hot, bright and sunny to cold and sopping wet.

    To those who want to keep themselves warm, here are five Filipino soup dishes designed to warm oneself up once the sky starts weeping:


    SinigangSinigang na salmon/ IMAGE from VirtualWolf via flickr

    Sinigang, which roughly translates to meat and vegetables in sour broth, is one of the country’s most recognizable soups. A balance of sour and savory makes this dish very refreshing.

    It’s usually done with tamarind, but can also be cooked using guava (sinigang sa bayabas), santol or cottonfruit, kamias or bilimbi, and kalamansi or Philippine lime. Meats can vary, but the usual suspects are pork, beef, milk fish, and shrimp. Add a finger chili or two for a little heat, and you’re good to go.


    NilagaNilagang baboy/IMAGE from L via flickr

    Nilaga has long been a staple of Filipino soup dishes for ages. It’s not that hard to make, thus making it easy to enjoy. The secret is in how long the meat is boiled, usually with tomatoes, onions, and whole peppercorns. Most of the taste of the broth comes from boiling the meat, which is usually pork or beef.


    Bulalo/IMAGE from Maxine Nicole Reyes via flickr

    Bulalo has always been a point of contention for some Filipinos since it’s basically the same as nilagang baka or boiled beef. Scouring the net reveals one key difference between the two: nilaga relies more on boiling the meat, while bulalo includes bone marrow.


    Chicken Macaroni SoupSopas/IMAGE from Daniel Go via flickr

    Sopas, or chicken noodle soup, is a dish that’s seen as a Sunday brunch staple, along with the first three soups mentioned so far. It’s made up of boiled chicken, broth cubes, a bit of evaporated milk, some vegetables (usually carrots and shredded cabbage), and macaroni. Yes, macaroni. It can be made with spaghetti or other types of pasta, but macaroni will always be associated with sopas.


    Beef pares/IMAGE from Shubert Ciencia via flickr

    Quite possibly the easiest to get on this list, beef pares is braised beef paired with fried rice. Its secret lies in how the soup is prepared. Unlike nilaga or bulalo, pares does not rely solely on the taste of the meat. Apart from beef, other ingredients in the soup include soy sauce, ginger, onions, garlic, and star anise. You’ll often see this served on carts you’ll find on the side of the road.

    What about you? What other soups keep you warm during the rainy season?

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