Old Cucumber and Carrots in Pork Broth

Old Cucumber and Carrots in Pork Broth

Soup Name:

Old Cucumber and Carrots in Pork Broth

Traditional Chinese Name:

老黃瓜胡蘿蔔湯 (lǎo huáng guā hú luóbo tāng)

This soup is slightly cooling in nature, sweet to taste, and helps clear excess water from the body.

 

For videos, visit us on YouTube.

Another soup for the damp, wet spring season! You’ll find a recurring theme within Spring soups, mainly consisting of an assortment of beans and certain vegetables that are diuretic. This is a simple soup with a pretty strong “bean” taste – so use less beans if it’s for kids. Mine found it a bit too “beany” and didn’t really like it that much. Consider adding corn to sweeten it up, but the adults lapped it up. It’s an easy to drink soup that is excellent for our health during this time of the year, especially when it’s wet and humid. You can also use chayotes, onions and fish for variation.

What’s involved?

Prep time: 10 mins

Cook time: 2 hours

Total time: 2 hours 10 mins

Serves: 8 bowls

Ingredients
Cooking Instructions
  1. In a small pot of boiling water, blanch your pork for 5 minutes. Scoop out and rinse of any excess foam.
  2. Start boiling your soup water.
  3. Prepare old cucumber and carrots. Keep the peel for the old cucumber to prevent disintegration.
  4. Soak the dried tangerine peel in warm water for 5 minutes and with a sharp knife, scrape the outer peel (where it’s darker in color) to remove the outer layer of the skin (which is most bitter).
  5. When you soup water boils, add all the ingredients together
  6. Boil on high for 30 minutes and reduce to a medium boil for another 1.5 hours.
  7. Salt to taste – enjoy!
Any benefits?
  • This soup is perfect for Spring or humid conditions when there is a lot of moisture in the body
  • It is great for clearing damp heat since it’s cooling in nature
  • Fit for the whole family, this soup eats like a meal!

For videos, visit us on YouTube.

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Chicken Soup with Red Dates

Chicken Soup with Red Dates

Chicken_reddates_wolfberries_carrots_s

Soup Name: Chicken Soup with Red Dates

Traditional Chinese Name:  红枣雞湯 (hóng zǎo jī tāng)

Introduction:
This soup is an easy and sweet soup that is perfect to warm you up on a chilly autumn or winter’s day. Chicken is considered to be very nourishing (補) and can give your body a good kick of healthy heartiness (this is similarly recognized by Westerners who drink chicken noodle soup when sick).  To sweeten the soup, red dates are added. We also suggest adding a palmful of wolfberries to boost the qi or “chi” which is ideal for cool weather. Carrots round out this simple yet delicious soup. You can see from the photo that this recipe results in a rich, deeply-colored broth and I can assure you, it’s tasty, too!  (Yes, I’m drinking as I type this post.) Depending on whether you use a fresh, whole chicken or alternatives, the difficulty of creating this soup can vary from 1-star (from pre-washed and cut chicken with minimal preparation) to 4-star (whole chicken from scratch).

 

Amount serves: 6 to 8 soup bowls

What Ingredients are required?

1 fresh whole chicken, quartered
5 large, dried red dates (to taste depending on how sweet you like your soup to be)
10 g of dried wolfberries (small palm-ful)
2 large fresh carrots, sliced
2L of water

How do I prepare it?

  1. Prepare the chicken
  2. Wash and soak the dried wolfberries
  3. Add red dates to your soup water and bring to a boil
  4. When the water boils, combine all the ingredients together
  5. Boil on medium-high for at least 1 hour

Any benefits?

  • A warm soup that is perfect for autumn or winter
  • Chicken is very nourishing (補) and creates a healthful soup
  • Red dates are an excellent source of Vitamin C
  • Red dates are also used in throat-soothing drinks
  • Wolfberries are high in antioxidants and contain 6 essential vitamins, Beta-Carotene, Calcium, Potassium, Iron and Zinc
  • Wolfberries are also known to enhance the qi or “chi” in your body

Any tips or precautions?

  • Whenever using real, whole chicken, it’s useful to have an oil scooper on hand to help scoop out the fat and any large or small particles that float to the top of your soup. I usually need to use the scoop two or three times — once after the soup is fully boiled and still hot and there is an abundance of oil floating on the top, then once again after the soup has cooled slightly and you have additional oil and particles that have had time to float to the surface, and usually once again upon re-heating (possibly the next day).
  • Feel free to drink the same soup the next day after re-boiling. I like to make an extra big pot and any that isn’t finished can be drank and finished off the next day.

 

Vegetarian Snow Pear and Corn Soup

Vegetarian Snow Pear and Corn Soup

Vegetarian Snow Pear and Corn Soup

Soup Name:

Vegetarian Snow Pear and Corn Soup

Traditional Chinese Name:

雪梨玉米湯 (xuě lí yù mǐ tāng)

 

This simple, clean and very sweet soup is great for people with sore throats or heaty bodies. You can actually drink it cold or hot and it’s ideal for all seasons. I’ve decided to go meatless because I wanted to drink it cool and it turned out fabulous. Fat free, oil free and made with all natural ingredients, it’s great for kids and adults alike.

Any benefits?

  • Meatless soup is great for vegetarians and is fat and oil free
  • Helps cool the body
  • Great for sore throats
  • Excellent source of Vitamin C
  • Can be drank both cold or hot
What’s involved?
Prep time: 10 mins

Cook time: 30 mins

Total time: 40 mins

Serves: 8 bowls

Ingredients
  • 4 fresh snow pears, halved and cored
  • 3 fresh carrots, cut into large pieces
  • 2 fresh corn, cut into large pieces
  • 1 fresh onion, quartered
  • 2 L of water
Cooking Instructions
  1. Wash and prepare all the vegetables and snow pears
  2. Boil your soup water
  3. When your soup water boils, throw all the ingredients together
  4. Boil on high heat for 30 minutes and reduce to a medium boil for another 1 hour
  5. Serve and enjoy!

Ginseng Fruit and Gobo in Vegetable Soup

Soup Name: Ginseng Fruit and Gobo in Vegetable Soup

Traditional Chinese Name: 牛蒡人参果湯 (niúbàng rénshēn guǒ tāng)

Introduction:

A very clear and deep sweet soup that is extremely flavorful and rich in Vitamins.  Both the ginseng fruit and the gobo root give this soup all the flavor it needs, so no meat is required.  You can add a variety of vegetables to it like carrots, corn, chayotes, onions to make your soup creation.  The great thing about using ginseng fruit is that the soup actually smells and tastes like ginseng, but without the hole in your wallet!

What ingredients are required?

3 fresh carrots, cut into large pieces
2 fresh corn, cut into large pieces
2 fresh gobo root, cut into large pieces
5 fresh ginseng fruit, halved
1 tablespoon of apricot kernels
2 L of water

How do I prepare it?

  1. Soak apricot kernals in water for 10 minutes
  2. Start boiling your soup water
  3. Wash and prepare ginseng fruit, gobo root, carrots and corn
  4. When soup water boils, add all the ingredients together
  5. Boil on high for 30 minutes
  6. Serve and enjoy!

Any benefits?

  • Oil free soup
  • Naturally flavorful because of both the ginseng fruit and gobo root
  • Excellent source of protein and vitamins
  • High amount of natural minerals
  • Easy to make soup
  • Neutral soup for any soup consumer

Any precautions?

  • Be sure to use ripen ginseng fruit as unripe ones contain an ingredient called saponin, which dries out your mouth

Moroccan Sweet Potato, Carrot and Chickpea Soup

To my readers:  Project Food Blog is a competition hosted by foodbuzz to find the ultimate food blogger.  I am an active participant – here’s my profile and this is my second challenge.  I know that this is not a Chinese soup – but the challenge called for something out of my comfort zone so I have decided to venture away from anything Asian and yes, all the way to Africa.  Please vote for me on Sept 27, 2010 when voting opens!


Something that is outside of my ethnic comfort zone would definitely have to be a place where I am DYING to go and have NEVER been.  How does MOROCCO sound?  It’s in the Kingdom of Morocco, located in North Africa.  To me, this is foreign, exotic, sexy and new.

Because I am the Chinese soup lady and while being true to my passion for soups, I decided to try and make a Moroccan Sweet Potato, Carrot and Chickpea Soup.

The challenge of this challenge:  I’m in Hong Kong and while it’s supposedly an international city – finding non-Asian ingredients aren’t always easy.  Lucky for me (after 2 rounds of local supermarkets), I went to an international supermarket and paid an extravagant amount of money (as compared to my normal soup fare) for organic and imported goods.  The interesting thing about this soup is that you almost start it like cooking a meal, but the end result is a delicious and fragrant soup.  The Chinese don’t use such fragrant spices (in fact, a majority of the Chinese herbs are quite smelly), so my house immediately became an exotic place as soon as I added the spices with my husband coming home to say that the hallway of our apartment smelled “different”.  Ah-haha… right.  If he only knew how different dinner would be tonight! Ah-hahahaha…

The end result?  I loved it and my husband compared it to a borscht, but he still downed 1 giant bowl.  I then brought over a container full for my family the day after and my mom had 2 bowls, my pregnant sister had 1 bowl and even my sister in confinement (a Chinese postpartum methodology) had to sample some.  You see, I could totally be an everything soup lady!  The only damper to this experience was that my kids didn’t seem to appreciate it like the adults did (after experimenting the soup on 4 kids).  I suspect that I will need to help broaden their horizons in the culinary arena by introducing more new and exciting flavors to their relatively limited Asian cuisines.

Here’s the recipe I found.

The magic ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 large white onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon of ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons of ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon of chili powder
  • 600g of sweet potato, peeled & diced
  • 500g of carrots, peeled & sliced
  • 6 cups of chicken stock (homemade or store bought)
  • 300g of canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 small lemon, juiced
  • Bread croutons (optional)

Road to soup greatness:

  1. Heat olive oil in a large pot with medium heat.
  2. Add onion and garlic, stirring, cook for 5 minutes.
  3. Stir in coriander, cumin and chili powder.  Cook, stirring for 1 minute.
  4. Add in sweet potato and carrots.  Cook, stirring for 5 minutes.
  5. Add chicken stock and cover.
  6. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally for 20 minutes.
  7. Add chickpeas, stir and cover.  Simmer for another 10-15 minutes or until chickpeas have softened.
  8. Blend in batches and return to pot, simmer for 5 minutes, stirring.
  9. Ladle to soups, top with croutons and serve!

See, it looks like a meal….but I love the colors, smell and these are some of my fav ingredients.

Like I said in my previous challenge, my palette prefers a little more H2O.

Getting up close and personal to the soup.

The great thing about making this soup is that it is a complete 180 degree of what I normally make and eat.  To put this into perspective, it’s probably near impossible to find a Moroccan restaurant in Hong Kong – so instead of going there now, why not bring Morocco to Hong Kong?  And no honey (this part dedicated to my husband), it doesn’t mean that I no longer want to go there, it makes me want to go there MORE!