Walnuts and Cashews in Pork Broth

Soup Name: Walnuts and Cashews in Pork Broth

Traditional Chinese Name: 合桃素湯 (hé táo sù tāng)

Introduction:

This interesting soup is mainly composed of round stuff (little nibbles of things) like nuts and beans.  This soups excellent for “brain” and “memory” development (so says my herbalist) and great for kids.  This soup does need something to punch up the taste because without additional veggies, it really does taste a bit bland and nutty, so I threw in a pumpkin (which still didn’t make it sweet enough, so maybe throw in some carrots and corn too).  Next time.

What ingredients are required?

1 pound fresh pork shank
20g of peeled cashews
20g of peeled walnuts
2-3 large dried dates
1 fresh lily bulb (or dried)
10 pitted red dates
20 dried lotus seeds
1 whole Japanese pumpkin, largely sliced with skin
40 g red kidney beans
2 L of water

How do I prepare it?

  1. Soak the cashews, walnuts, dates, lily bulb and beans in warm water
  2. Begin to boil your soup water
  3. In a separate pot of boiling water, blanch the pork shank for 5 minutes and drain
  4. Wash and chop pumpkin into slices (while keeping skin to prevent the pumpkin from disintegrating)
  5. When your soup water boils, throw all the ingredients together
  6. Boil on high heat for 30 minutes and reduce to a medium boil for another 1.5 hours
  7. Serve and enjoy!

Any benefits?

  • Excellent soup for eyes and brain development (especially in children)
  • Ingredients are readily available
  • Soup is low in fat

Any precautions?

  • This soup has a strong nutty taste, so you can consider masking it with  more veggies (ie: corn, carrots, squash)
  • Caution for children under 2 (as walnuts & cashews may be a risk for nut allergy)

Snow Pears and Apples in Chicken Broth

Soup Name: Snow Pears and Apples in Chicken Broth

Traditional Chinese Name:蘋果雪梨雞湯 (píng guǒ xuě lí jī tāng)

Introduction:

This naturally sweet soup is great in lowering “heatiness” in the body.  It’s not overly cooling, but does help soothe sore throats, sun stroke (& dehydration), and cool down that fiery feeling in your body when you eat too many fried and spicy foods.  It’s great for kids, is super easy to make and the ingredients are readily available.

What ingredients are required?

1 whole fresh chicken, quartered
3-4 fuji apples
3-4 snow pears
2-3 large dried dates
1 tablespoon of  apricot kernals
3 L of water

How do I prepare it?

  1. Prepare chicken (see instructions on the chicken page) and quarter
  2. Begin boiling your soup water
  3. Rinse and soak in warm water the dried dates and apricot kernals for 10 minutes
  4. Blanch the chicken in a separate pot of boiling water
  5. Wash the snow pears and apples, halve and core
  6. Add all the ingredients to boiling water
  7. Boil on high for thirty minutes and reduce to a medium boil for an hour
  8. Serve and enjoy

Any benefits?

  • Snow pears are cooling and help in nourishing the lungs and cooling the heart
  • This soup is ideal for the summer months
  • It helps relieve heatiness and conditions such as sore and dry throats or heated bodies from consumption of fried and spicy foods

Any precautions?

  • Snow pears are mildly “cooling” so people who sensitive to cooling soups should caution
  • The chicken itself is quite fatty, so use an oil scooper to remove the fat and oil

Quick Boil Hairy Gourd, Bamboo and Chicken Soup

Soup Name: Quick Boil Hairy Gourd, Bamboo and Chicken Soup

Traditional Chinese Name: 节瓜竹筍雞肉湯 ( jié guā zhú sǔn ji ròu tāng)

Introduction:

To follow other quick boil soups we’ve made recently, here’s another quick soup idea.   Although this soup can be made the traditional way (with a whole chicken and fresh bamboo), if you’re in a hurry, we can suggest some short-cuts, too.  Use chicken pieces to replace the whole chicken and canned bamboo to replace fresh bamboo and you can have a delicious and nutritious soup ready in about 30 minutes — perfect after a long day at work or if the kids are hungry.   Bump up the nutrition levels and the color by adding carrots or corn to your soup.

What ingredients are required?

1  pound of chicken pieces
1 large hairy gourd (a.k.a fuzzy melon)
2 large fresh bamboo shoots, cut into slices (or canned)
2 large carrots (peeled and cut into pieces)
1 L of chicken broth/stock
2 L of water

How do I prepare it?

  1. Pour water and chicken broth together into a large pot and turn on high heat to boil
  2. Wash, peel and slice the hairy gourd into edible pieces
  3. Wash, peel and cut carrots into pieces
  4. Prepare bamboo and cut into slices
  5. When the water boils, add all the ingredients together
  6. Boil on high for 30 minutes
  7. Serve and enjoy!

Any benefits?

  • Removes heat from the body and is mildly cooling
  • Bamboo shoots are an excellent source of fiber, potassium and are high in antioxidants
  • Easy soup to make that is tasty and the winter melon absorbs the flavor of the meat and broth making it very tasty to eat
  • You can substitute the chicken stock with water, but add some salt for flavoring
  • A child-friendly soup

Any precautions?

  • Too much bamboo may be hard to digest (due to the high fiber content)

Papaya, Snow Fungus and Red Dates in Pork Broth

Soup Name: Papaya, Snow Fungus and Red Dates in Pork Broth

Traditional Chinese Name: 木瓜雪耳豬展湯 (mù gua xuě ěr zhū zhǎn tāng)

Introduction:

This is an easy to make, nutritious soup that is packed full of Vitamin C and beta-carotene.  It is deliciously sweet and refreshing and ideal for autumn or winter days.  You can use chicken to make it more warm and also add a variety of other ingredients to make it a meal.

What ingredients are required?

1 pound fresh pork shank
2 large fresh papaya, cubed
2 whole dried snow fungus, cored and quartered
10 pitted red dates
2 L of water

How do I prepare it?

  1. Rinse and soak dried snow fungus in a bowl of enough water to immerse it in for about an hour (or until soft)
  2. In a separate pot of boiling water, blanch pork shank for 5 minutes, set aside and cool
  3. Boil your soup water
  4. Wash and cut papaya into large edible cubes
  5. Using scissors, cut out the middle of the snow fungus (the hardest part) and cut the other portions into edibles pieces
  6. When your soup water boils, add pork shank, snow fungus, papaya and dates
  7. Boil on high for 30 minutes and reduce to medium heat for another hour
  8. Serve and enjoy!

Any benefits?

  • Excellent source of vitamin A, C and beta-carotene
  • Excellent source of collagen (from the snow fungus)
  • Not too much fat since pork shank is being used

Any precautions?

  • Be sure to buy snow fungus from a reputable source
  • The longer you boil the now fungus, the thicker the soup gets (because the collagen like substance slowly dissolves into the soup), this is really according to preference

Fresh Snow Pears in Chicken Soup with Snow Fungus

Soup Name: Fresh Snow Pears in Chicken Soup with Snow Fungus

Traditional Chinese Name: 雪梨雪耳雞湯 (xuě lí xuě ěr jī tāng)

Introduction:

This end of autumn and into winter soup is slightly sweet, not too cooling and is deliciously simple to make.  With only a handful of ingredients, it is an ideal soup for the whole family and will have your kids asking for more.  Add more pears to sweeten it, but you can also use the Chicken Herbal Soup base to start as well.

What ingredients are required?

chicken (whole), skinned and quartered
2 whole dried snow fungus, cored and quartered
4 fresh snow pears, halved and cored

2 L of water

How do I prepare it?

  1. Rinse and soak dried snow fungus in a bowl of enough water to immerse it in for about an hour (or until soft)
  2. Clean and prepare the chicken
  3. Boil a pot of water to blanch the chicken in and when water boils, add in the chicken and boil for 2-3 minutes
  4. Drain and set aside
  5. Cut the soaked snow fungus into edible portions while discarding the core (which is usually very yellow and hard)
  6. Boil your soup water
  7. Prepare the snow pears by coring and halving (keeping the skin will prevent disintegration)
  8. Add all the ingredients together and boil on high for 30 minutes.  Reduce to a low boil for another hour.
  9. Serve and enjoy!

Any benefits?

  • Excellent source of collagen (from the snow fungus)
  • Naturally sweet and packed with Vitamin C
  • Helps nourish the lungs, assist with cough and soothe the throat

Any precautions?

  • Be sure to purchase snow fungus from a reputable source and rinse thoroughly before consumption

Simple Tomato Fish Soup

Soup Name: Simple Tomato Fish Soup
Traditional Chinese Name: 番茄魚湯 (fān qié yú tāng)

Introduction:

Tomatoes are the ideal partner in fish soups.  It helps alleviate some of the fishy scent as well as bring a sweet and slightly sour taste to the soup.  This soup is ideal for confinements and children (at least one year in age as tomatoes are considered too acidic to young children) and is very neutral and healthy.  There is virtually no fat in the soup and the broth is rich in flavor and nutrients.  It is a great soup base for other ingredients such as other vegetables (celery, onions, carrots, corn, pumpkin) or additives (chestnuts, water chestnuts).

What Ingredients are required?

4 medium-sized golden threadfin bream (or any other appropriate substitute)
3 tomatoes
3 potatoes

2 L of water
1 teaspoon of salt (to marinate the fish)
1 teaspoon of oil (to fry the fish)

How do I prepare it?

  1. After the fish is cleaned, wipe the fish with paper towels or a cloth to remove excess water
  2. Cover the fish with a small amount of salt (inside and out)
  3. Let it sit for an hour and then drain any water
  4. Peel and cut the potatoes and tomatoes
  5. OPTIONAL: Some people will prefer to fry the potatoes until they are crispy on the outside to prevent disintegration in the soup
  6. Start boiling your soup 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 and add to water
  9. Add all the ingredients
  10. Boil for at least an hour

Any benefits?

  • This neutral soup is ideal for confinements
  • It is also ideal for children (who are able to eat tomatoes)
  • It is highly nutritious, contains no fats and can be used as a soup base for noodles, macaronis and other dishes

Any precautions?

  • Be careful of disintegrated fish bones in the soup – although a filter or fish bag will help