Meals I Can Make: Vegetable and Chicken Soup

When I first got to Japan, I realized that a lot of the things I used to eat in America require ingredients that are either hard to find or cost too much in Japan.  I’ve had to learn to make due with what I can get in grocery stores, and I think I’ve done pretty well for myself.  So, as mentioned (in the grocery shopping post) I am going to show you a few of the meals I make for myself.  I want to show you how I incorporate Japanese ingredients into foods I know and love, and I also want to brag a little bit because finally I’m getting good at cooking!
I’ve already shown you things like onigiri and sukiyaki, but I want to show you more normal meals, too (full meals that don’t require extra time or tools).
Today I made myself soup with chicken, onion, carrot, and renkon (lotus root).
I know, I know, it looks fantastic, right?  Well, fear not because I’m going to tell you how I made it!
I cut a chicken breast in half, and then butterflied the thicker half.  Then I cut up half an onion and put the chicken pieces and the onion in a buttered pan, and topped the chicken with two cloves of minced garlic, salt, and pepper, and pan fried all.
I cut up one carrot and one entire renkon thing (I don’t know if you refer to it as one renkon or a renkon root or what, but it was the whole chunk that I had) and boiled it all.  Then I added a pre-made cream soup base and milk and cooked it some more.  And then I cooked it more, still.  Renkon takes a lot longer to cook than carrot, so I finally decided the renkon was done right before the carrots were overcooked.
Then I cut up the chicken and added half of my chicken and onions to half of the renkon and carrot soup (this makes two meals, I guess).
And now, I have a delicious lunch that I can be very proud of.  I think I could have used a little more garlic, but ta-da! I made food!