Soup Name: Vegetarian Watercress Soup

Traditional Chinese Name: 西洋菜栗子湯 (xī yáng cài lì zi tāng)


This savory soup is sweet in taste and healthy to eat.  It’s rich in vitamins and fiber and is meant to “cool” your body – especially in the summer months.  Caution may need to be taken with chestnuts as it can potentially be allergenic, although it is not very common.

What Ingredients are required?

3 large dried dates
5-6 pieces of dried scallop (optional for non-vegetarians)
5-6 pieces of Chinese mushrooms
10 – 15 chestnuts

3 bunches of fresh watercress
3 large cubes of fresh tofu
2-3 litres of cold water

How do I prepare it?

  1. Soak the Chinese mushrooms in cold water for at least an hour
  2. Boil your soup water
  3. Add the dried dates, dried scallops and soaked mushrooms (you can keep the mushroom water)
  4. In a separate pot, boil the chestnuts and remove the peel (see chestnuts for preparation instructions)
  5. Add peeleed chestnuts to your soup
  6. Boil on high heat for an hour
  7. Add watercress and tofu
  8. Boil for another 30 minutes
  9. Serve

Any benefits?

  • This soup is high in fibre, Vitamin C and is said to relieve heatiness
  • It can help cool your body on a hot summer’s day
  • It is not overly cool as the chestnuts balance the soup

Any precautions?

  • Chestnuts may pose allergies to some children
  • Watercress is a “cool” food and women who are less than 3 months pregnant or menstruating should consume with caution