Chinese Soups for Fall!



They say that it’s dry in the fall. It’s only a prelude to how really dry it will can get in the winter, but already your body needs moisturizing and supplements.

Soups in this category are meant to:

  • Help transition the body from hot to cool
  • Help provide moisture and humidity back to the body
  • Help build the immune system in preparation for colder winter days
  • Bring some heat back into the body
Soups here are warmer in nature and help bridge that odd changing weather between summer and winter. Some days it gets colder, some days it gets hotter. For me, it’s a rather nice season in Hong Kong where it’s not scorching hot, but cool enough that it’s comfortable. Enjoy and send me your fabulous family recipes!


Some ingredients suitable for Fall:

Night Blooming Cereus – Helps remove pathological fire that is created during the hot summer to help transition the body into fall

Bellflower Root – Great to moisturize and nourish lungs (especially as it becomes dry)

Lu Gen or Reed Rhizome – Helps relieve dry throats and quenches thirst (which can often happen during autumn and winter months)

Luo Han Guo – Helps moisten the lungs, relieve coughs and quenches thirst

Dried loquat leaves – Helps moisturize the throat and great for sore and dry throats

Arrowroot – helps bring moisture back to the body


Great soups for the Fall:

Night Blooming Cereus and Figs in Pork Broth
Fresh Snow Pears in Chicken Soup with Snow Fungus
Lung Moisturizing Tea
Luo Han Guo in Watercress Soup
Autumn Drink with Dragon’s Tongue Leaf and Luo Han Guo
Loquat Soup (For The Lungs)
Vegetarian Arrowroot and Corn Soup

Wintermelon with Lotus Leaf and Corn in Pork Broth

Soup Name: Wintermelon with Lotus Leaf and Corn in Pork Broth

Traditional Chinese Name:  冬瓜湯 (dōng guā tāng)

There is one particular day in the summer where the Chinese call it the “hottest day of the month”. This is the soup for that day. When I went to the wet market that morning and wanted to make another soup, my veggie vendor told me to make this soup – without a doubt. It’s a cooling, heat-reducing soup for those really stuffy, hot days in the summer.  You can use either pork or chicken (or both) and it may need a bit of salt because all the ingredients are mildly flavored, but it still tastes slightly sweet and natural without the salt.


What Ingredients are required?

1 pound of pork shin or pork bones
1 slice of wintermelon, sliced with skin on
2 fresh corn, kernals sliced
70 g of fresh gingko bilobas
70 g dried lily seeds
1 large piece of fresh lotus leaf
2 L of water
salt to taste

How do I prepare it?

  1. Blanch pork in a pot of boiling water for 5 minutes
  2. Drain pork and set aside
  3. Rinse wintermelon and slice with the skin on each piece
  4. (Optiona) Cut corn into large pieces or slice kernals from the cob
  5. Rinse gingko bilobas and lotus seeds into warm water
  6. Start to boil your soup water
  7. When your soup water is boiling, add all the ingredients together (including the kernal-less cobs)
  8. Boil on medium heat for 1 hour and set in a thermal pot for another 3 hours
  9. Serve and enjoy!

Any benefits?

  • This soup is excellent for cooling down the body and heat from hot summer days

Any precautions?

  • Women in their first trimester of pregnancy should avoid as it is an extremely cooling soup and may cause contractions
  • Melon soups are best consumed within same day as keeping melon soups overnight or over an extended period will make the melons sour (and so will your soup!)

Similar soups:


Fresh Lotus Leaf

Ingredient Name: Fresh Lotus Leaf

Traditional Chinese Name: 荷葉 (héyè)

What is this?
  • The leaf of the lotus plant, a perennial aquatic plant related to the water lily
  • The leafs can grow to be quite large (as large as 18 inches in diameter in some cases) and are dark, green in color
  • The lotus leaf is most commonly found in Chinese cuisine as the wrappers of food such as rice, sticky rice – it is not commonly eaten
  • The leafs are usually collected in the summer and autumn seasons and dried for usage thereafter
  • It is slightly bitter and very mild

How do I prepare it?

  • Rinse in warm water before soup usage
  • You can use as a it whole piece or rip into smaller pieces for your soup

Where can I buy this?

  • Commonly available in all wet marts in Asia (Hong Kong, Taiwan, China and South East Asian countries)
  • Dried lotus leaf is more common in Western supermarkets vs fresh lotus leaf

What is the cost?

  • 1 pieces (as pictured above) cost around $5 HKD

Any benefits?

  • It is meant to help invigorate the blood
  • It is also sometimes used to help reduce dizziness and fevers

Any precautions?

  • It is not commonly eaten, but can be found in pills/supplements
  • I usually throw out the leaf after soup usage and don’t eat it

Additional Information

  • Store fresh lotus leaf in the fridge for up to 5 days

GUEST SOUP: Pumpkin Corn Pork Shin Fig Soup


Guest Poster: Debbie!

Soup Name: Pumpkin Corn Pork Shin Fig Soup

This is a guest soup submission from our good friend Debbie, who is the ultimate stay-at-home mom with two kids and one on the way!  She whipped up this simple Pumpkin and Corn Fig soup and with the help of a thermal cooker, baked the soup until all its healthy and yummy goodness came out!  Thanks Deb for this post and looking forward to more of your homemade creations (on top of your weekly cupcakes!).


What Ingredients are required?

1 piece of pork shin, sliced into 1/2 inch thick strips
1/2 fresh Japanese pumpkin, quartered with peel (and seeds)
2 whole corn, halved
2 whole carrots, sliced
6 dried figs
1 tbsp apricot kernals (north, bitter)
1 tbsp apricot kernals (south, sweet)
2 L of water
salt to taste

How do I prepare it?

  1. Slice pork and blanch in a pot of boiling water for 5 minutes
  2. Drain pork and set aside
  3. Scrub pumpkin under running water and slice into large pieces, keeping the skin and seeds
  4. Clean and cut corn and carrots into edible portions
  5. Soak apricot kernals and figs in warm water for 10 minutes
  6. Start to boil your soup water and add figs to your cold soup water
  7. When your soup water is boiling, add all the ingredients together
  8. Boil on medium heat for 1 hour and set in a thermal pot for another 8 hours
  9. Serve and enjoy!

Any benefits?

  • Pork shin is a healthy cut of pork and has low fat content
  • This soup is an excellent source of beta-cartone and vitamins
  • This soup is neutral and great for children

Any precautions?

  • Be sure to thoroughly clean the pumpkin skin

Similar soups:


Abalone in Chicken Soup

Abalone in Chicken Soup

Soup Name: Abalone in Chicken Soup

Traditional Chinese Name: 鮑魚清雞湯 (bào yú qīng jī tāng)

This soup is a powered up version of the Chicken Herbal Soup. Packed with the natural sea-sweetness of the abalones and herbs, it’s a great soup for the cold winter months or confinement. You can eat the abalone as whole pieces (usually the smaller ones are cheaper, but it’s still an expensive soup), or sliced thinly and dipped in soy sauce.  Regardless, don’t waste the abalone!  In addition, I know it says Chicken soup, but the Chinese commonly also add a small pork shank or pork bone to their otherwise known as Chicken and even Fish soups.  You can’t get away from the staple pork.

What Ingredients are required?

1 fresh whole chicken, prepared and quartered
1 pound of fresh pork shank (or any other pork parts for soups is suitable)
6-7 fresh small abalones (or dried)
5-6 dried scallops (conpoys)
1 handful of wolfberries
20 g of dried peanuts (for soups)
20 g of euryale or fox nuts
5 sticks of dried Chinese yam
2 litres of water

How do I prepare it?

  1. Prepare chicken (in quarters) by rinsing and blanching in a pot of boiling water (let it boil for about 2-3 minutes)
  2. Remove chicken and set aside
  3. Boil your pork in the same pot of boiling water as the chicken (for 2-3 minutes)
  4. Drain water and set aside
  5. Wash and clean abalone (with a toothbrush to be sure to brush off all the black residue)
  6. Wash and soak for 10 minutes all the dried herbs
  7. Boil your soup water
  8. When your soup water is boiling, add all the ingredients together
  9. Boil on high heat for 30 minutes and reduce to low boil for another 2 hours.
  10. Serve and enjoy!

Any benefits?

  • Excellent warming soup for cold days
  • Good to increase blood circulation and blood flow
  • It is considered to be of the “healing” categories of soup
  • If used for confinement, you can make the soup more concentrated (less water or more ingredients)

Any precautions?

  • As the whole chicken can be oily, be sure to remove all oil before serving
  • Minimize herbs when used for children (above sampling suggested)
  • Peanuts are also introduced in this soup, so remove or avoid giving to children as suggested with potential peanut allergies

Similar soups: