Papaya Pork Soup

Soup Name: Papaya Pork Soup

Chinese Name: 木瓜湯 (mù gua tāng)

Introduction:

Putting fruit into Chinese soups adds a wonderful sweetness and texture.   Papaya is commonly used in either fish or pork-based soups.   This is a simple papaya pork soup that is quick and simple to make and great for children.  My own kids love to eat the soft and warm papaya fruit directly from the soup so this has become a common, nutritious soup we can make quickly and know they will enjoy.

What Ingredients are required?

How do I prepare it?

  1. Soak the apricot kernels and dried scallops in room temperature water for 30 minutes
  2. Peel and remove the seeds from the papaya and cut into large cubes
  3. Boil your soup water
  4. Blanch pork shank in a separate pot of boiling water
  5. Add in the above ingredients and bring to a boil
  6. Simmer for at least one hour until pork if soft
  7. Serve and enjoy!

Any benefits?

  • High in vitamin C and folate (from the papayas)
  • Neutral soup that is ideal for children and toddlers
  • Simple to make


Luo Han Guo in Watercress Soup

Soup Name: Luo Han Guo in Watercress Soup

Traditional Chinese Name: 羅漢果西洋菜湯 (luóhàn guǒ xī yáng cài tāng)

Introduction:
This soup is excellent for assisting in coughs and removing phelgm.  It also aids in providing moisture (with the chestnuts) to the body and lungs for those dry autumn and winter months.  It is considered a pretty sweet soup and ideal for all ages.

What Ingredients are required?

1 pound of fresh pork shank
1/2 dried luo han guo
1 tablespoon of  apricot kernals
15 whole raw chestnuts
2-3 bunches of fresh watercress
1 large piece of dried tangerine peel

2-3 L of water
1 teaspoon of salt (to marinate the pork)


How do I prepare it?

  • Pre-marinate the pork overnight with the salt (although this step is not necessary)
  • Boil your soup water
  • Blanch pork shank in a separate pot of boiling water
  • In another separate pot, boil chestnuts for 2-3 minutes.  Remove from water and peel while still hot (removing the outer and inner skin)
  • Half luo han guo and rinse in warm water
  • Wash and soak apricot kernals and tangerine peel in warm water
  • When the water boils, add all the ingredients together except the watercress (this should be added last because it will stay relatively crunchy before consumption)
  • Boil on high for thirty minutes and reduce to a simmer for another 1.5 hours (or use a thermal pot)
  • When almost ready to drink, re-boil and add in watercress.  Boil on high for 10 minutes (or until desired softness of watercress)
  • Serve and enjoy!

Any benefits?

  • An excellent soup to assist with coughs and loosening of phlegm
  • Ideal for dry autumn consumption as it helps moisten the lungs and body
  • Low in fat
  • Naturally sweet

Any precautions?

  • The luo han guo produces a very sweet and distinct taste that is subjective to the drinker
  • I would suggest trying half of a fruit on your first attempt and see if you like it, definitely do not add more than 1 fruit to a soup
  • The watercress, while considered a cooling vegetable, can be consumed in moderation if in early pregnancy (use less as a precaution)

Corn, Pumpkin and Carrots in Fish Broth

Soup Name: Corn, Pumpkin and Carrots in Fish Broth

Traditional Chinese Name: 玉米南瓜蘿蔔湯 (yù mǐ nán guā hóng luóbo tāng)

Introduction:
A natural soup with no Chinese additives or herbs, it is sweet, packed with beta-carotene and eats like a meal.  I tend to add more corn and pumpkin because the children eat these vegetables and the fish base soup is low in fat and extremely healthy.  You can use a variety of fish (whatever is seasonally fresh is best) and it takes about an hour to make.  A neutral soup ideal for the whole family!

What Ingredients are required?

1 large big fish tail
15 fresh chestnuts, boiled and peeled
3 large carrots
2 fresh corn
1/2 fresh Japanese pumpkin, cubed

1 teaspoon of salt (for marinating fish)
1 tablespoon of oil
2 slices of ginger, peeled

2-3 L of water

How do I prepare it?

  1. Add chestnuts to cold water (complete submerged) and boil on high heat for 10 minutes
  2. Once cooked, set aside to cool
  3. Start boiling your soup water
  4. Clean fish and wipe the fish with paper towels or a cloth to remove excess water
  5. Cover the fish with a small amount of salt (inside and out)
  6. Let it sit for an hour and then drain any water
  7. In a pan, add oil and fry the ginger with the fish on low-medium heat (until the fish is completely cooked and the skin is a slightly browned)
  8. Put the fish into a soup bag
  9. Add fish bag to boiling soup
  10. Peel the chestnuts while still warm, removing both the outer and inner skins
  11. Wash and chop all ingredients (pumpkin is both OK with or without skin)
  12. Add carrots, pumpkin, corn and chestnuts to soup
  13. Boil on high heat for 30 minutes, reduce to a medium boil for another 30 minutes
  14. Serve and enjoy!

Any benefits?

  • Soup extremely high in Vitamin A, C, and beta-carotene
  • 100% natural ingredients ideal for children and pregnancies
  • Low in fat

Any precautions?

  • Be sure to use a soup bag to contain all the disintegrated fish parts (especially the bones)

Wolfberry Leaf with Egg Drop in Chicken Broth

Soup Name: Wolfberry Leaf with Egg Drop in Chicken Broth

Traditional Chinese Name: 枸杞雞湯 (gǒu gǒu jī tāng)

Introduction:

A delicious soup that is rich in the unique flavors of the wolfberry leaves.  The very neat thing about this soup is that the base is an old fire soup, while when adding the final ingredients, it’s a quick boil soup.  This is a classic from my mother and she even grew her own wolfberry plants just for the sole purpose of making this soup!

Ingredients:

1 fresh whole chicken, prepared
1 pound of fresh pork shank
4 fresh sea snails, prepared
5-6 dried scallops (conpoys)
10 dried longans
3 stems of wolfberry leaves, washed and picked off stems
3 eggs, scrambled
2-3 L of water

How do I prepare it

  1. Prepare snail by thoroughly cleaning and rubbing it in warm water
  2. In a pot of hot water, blanch chicken, pork shank and snail
  3. Begin to boil your soup water and add conpoys and longans
  4. When water boils, add both blanched chicken and pork shank (this is the base of your soup)
  5. Boil on high for 30 minutes and then reduce to a simmer for another 1 hour
  6. Wash wolfberry leaves and set aside
  7. When ready to serve, add wolfberry leaves and boil for 5 minutes on high heat (or until leaves are soft)
  8. Slowly pour in scrambled eggs while continuously mixing the soup, boil for another 5 minutes
  9. Serve and enjoy!

Any benefits?

  • Has an effect to remove heatiness
  • It aids in reducing thirst and has a calming effect on the body (thereby eliminating anxiety)
  • Extremely high carotene content
  • Excellent source of Vitamin E

Any precautions?

  • Some species of wolfberries and leaves are known to contain a toxic ingredient called Atropine (naturally occurring)
  • Not many concrete studies are available on the benefits of wolfberries and their leaves
  • Said to be slightly cooling, so precaution to be taken with women who are pregnant in their first trimester (as cooling ingredients cause contractions)
  • Snails need thorough cleaning (see preparation for more details)

Corn with Ham in Turkey Broth

Soup Name: Corn with Ham in Turkey Broth

Traditional Chinese Name: 玉米火腿火雞湯 (yù mǐ huǒ tuǐ huǒ jī tāng)

Introduction:

A simple, delicious and easy to make soup with readily available ingredients from your supermarket.  It’s healthy with minimal fat and the kids devoured it!

Ingredients:

2-3 turkey legs
3 fresh corn
10 slices of fresh ham
4 honey dates

2-3 L of water

How do I prepare it

  1. In a pot, add water and honey dates and bring to a boil
  2. Rinse and de-bone turkey legs
  3. Rinse corn and using a sharp knife, slice the corn off the cob by holding the corn upright (optional – but my kids love to eat the pieces of corn floating in the soup)
  4. Rinse ham in warm water and slice into edible pieces
  5. When your soup water boils, add all the ingredients together
  6. Boil on high for 30 minutes and reduce simmer for about an hour (this is to let the turkey meat soften and release flavors)
  7. Serve and enjoy!

Any benefits?

  • Easy to make and delicious
  • Quick soup that requires little preparation
  • Excellent source of protein
  • Turkey thighs are a low fat meat that is high in Vitamin B’s

Any precautions?

  • None!  Enjoy!

Coconut and Lotus Seeds in Chicken Soup

Soup Name: Coconut and Lotus Seeds in Chicken Soup
Traditional Chinese Name: 椰子蓮子雞湯 (yē zi lián zi jī tāng)
Introduction:
A mildly sweet and smooth chicken soup that is refreshing and easy to drink.  I love eating the coconuts threads and the kids love it too.

What Ingredients are required?

chicken (whole)
20 dried lotus seeds
coconut
water
salt to taste

How do I prepare it?

  1. Start boiling your soup water
  2. Rinse lotus seeds in warm water
  3. Prepare the chicken (see chicken for preparation steps)
  4. In a separate pot, boil water to blanch the chicken
  5. Pre-boil chicken, strain and add chicken to the boiling water of your soup
  6. Open coconut and slice into thin strips (keeping the skin is optional, but it’s quite a bit of work to remove the skin)
  7. Add lotus seeds and coconut to the soup
  8. Boil on high for 30 minutes and reduce to low heat for another 2.5 hours
  9. Serve and enjoy!
  10. As this is a minimalist soup, some may prefer to add a bit of salt (my recommendation – in moderation)

Any benefits?

  • This soup is rich in proteins and helps nourish the lungs
  • The soup is low in fat (remember to remove all the oil on the surface of the soup) and sodium

Any precautions?

  • Try not to eat too much coconut.  The meat is high in saturated fats and eating too much may give you a tummy ache because it’s relatively hard to digest, although it’s great for constipation!