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!

Gobo in Pork Bone Soup

Soup Name: Gobo in Pork Bone Soup

Traditional Chinese Name: 清牛蒡豬骨湯 (qīng niúbàng zhū gǔ tāng)

Introduction:

A naturally sweet and delicious soup with minimal ingredients.  It is a neutral soup that has many benefits (see below) and is very easy to make.

Ingredients:

1 pound of fresh pork bones
6-7 gobo or greater burdock roots (each approximately 1″ in length)
4 honey dates
4-5 dried scallops (conpoys)

2-3 L of water

How do I prepare it

  1. Blanch fresh pork bones in a pot of boiling water
  2. Boil your soup water
  3. Wash, peel and cut gobo into edible sizes
  4. Rinse honey dates and dried scallops in warm water
  5. Once soup water boils, add all the ingredients together
  6. Boil on high for 30 minutes, reduce to a simmer for another 1 hour
  7. Serve and enjoy!

Any benefits?

  • High amounts of calcium, potassium, iron and amino acids
  • Soup helps promote bowel movements and urination to eliminate toxins
  • Helps reduce blood sugar, fat and blood pressure

Any precautions?

  • Ensure gobo is purchased from a reputable source

Cooling Wintermelon Soup

Soup Name: Cooling Wintermelon Soup

Traditional Chinese Name: 祛濕清熱冬瓜湯 (qū shī qīngrè dōngguā tāng)

Introduction:

A must drink for the hot, stuffy summers.  It helps cools the body, reduces heatiness and eliminates overheating.  While mildly sweet and light to taste, this is a common and very popular soup in the Cantonese soup repertoire.  There are a variety of ways to make this soup, but this is the most basic.

Ingredients:

1 pound of fresh pork shank
1 large slice of wintermelon
5-6  honey dates
2 tablespoons of hyacinth beans
5 g of dried lily bulb (or 5-6 pieces)
20 g of fu ling
10-12 lotus seeds
2-3 L of water

How do I prepare it

  1. Blanch fresh pork shank in a pot of boiling water
  2. Boil your soup water
  3. Wash and cut wintermelon into cubes (separate skin from meat) – skin is still added to soup
  4. Rinse all other ingredients in warm water
  5. Once soup water boils, add all the ingredients together
  6. Boil on high for 30 minutes, reduce to a simmer for another 1.5 hours
  7. Serve and enjoy!

Any benefits?

  • Helps reduce heatiness in the body
  • Eliminates excess heat and helps cool the body

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!).