Quick Boil Pumpkin and Corn Vegetarian Soup

Quick Boil Pumpkin and Corn Vegetarian Soup

Quick Boil Pumpkin and Corn Vegetarian Soup

Soup Name:

Quick Boil Pumpkin and Corn Vegetarian Soup

Traditional Chinese Name:

簡單菜湯 (Jiǎn dān cài tāng)

What started as a simple vegetable soup, turned into an interesting mix of hot and cold vegetables because I could! The children had the soup warm, served with macaroni for dinner and it’s an easy quick boil, meatless soup. You can add real meat if you’d like, ideally chicken breast or thighs for a quick boil or even Chinese preserved ham. A great, quick soup for those times when you’re just running out of time, but have a fridge full of vegetables! The base is quite easy and you can add any other vegetables that suit your taste!

For the quick boil, you’ll need to have small pieces of vegetables to enable them to cook faster and release flavours faster. I always keep the cobs for the soup base, there is SO MUCH flavour in those things! Throw everything into a pot of boiling water as a start.

Throw in the shucked loose corn and broth and boil on high heat for 30 minutes. You can throw in the snow peas to blanch for 2 minutes and then serve.  What I also did here was have extra “greek salad” ingredients (raw cucumbers, raw tomatoes, and parsley) just for fun – but it tasted awesome!

What’s involved?

Prep time: 10 mins

Cook time: 30 mins

Total time: 40 mins

Serves: 6 bowls

Ingredients

  • 1/2 fresh Japanese pumpkin, cubed (with skin off)

  • 2 fresh corn, shucked (keep the cob for the soup)

  • 20 fresh snow peas

  • 1 teaspoon of vegetable broth powder (or half a cup of vegetable soup stock)

  • 2 L of water

Cooking Instructions

  1. In a pot of boiling water, add cubed pumpkin, corn cobs, corn kernals and stock (or powder)
  2. Boil in high for 30 minutes
  3. Before serving, blanch the snow peas in the soup for 2 minutes
  4. Serve and enjoy!

The beauty of this is that you can add in your choice of cubed vegetables, such as carrots, radish, and even tomatoes that compliment the sweet flavours of the pumpkin.  

Alternatively, you can use miso paste instead of chicken powder, which is just as tasty as  quick boil!

 

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Snow Pear and Dragon’s Eye Sweet Dessert Soup

Snow Pear and Dragon’s Eye Sweet Dessert Soup

Snow Pear and Dragon’s Eye Sweet Dessert Soup

Soup Name:

Snow Pear and Dragon’s Eye Sweet Dessert Soup

One day, in the thick of a winter evening, when all the children lay sleeping, I suddenly had this urge for something sweet, crunchy and hot.  No panic.  Taking a peek in the fridge, I found one giant snow pear staring at me. Perfect. This is how simple this dessert soup is and a majority of the other ingredients are primarily pantry items with a billion years shelf-life.  I personally love food with layers of texture and flavour and after twenty minutes, I was in bliss.

What’s involved?

Prep time: 10 mins

Cook time: 15 mins

Total time: 25 mins

Serves: 4 bowls

Ingredients

  • 1 giant fresh snow pear (preferably the type with dark brown / orange skin), chunked
  • 1 tablespoon of dried longans (or dried dragon eyes)
  • 1 tablespoon of dried wolfberries
  • 1 1-inch diameter chunk of golden rock sugar
  • 1.5 L of water

Cooking Instructions

  1. Boil you soup water
  2. Cut up the snow pear into edible bite-sizes
  3. When the water boils, throw all the ingredients together
  4. Boil on high heat for 15 minutes
  5. Serve and enjoy hot!

The ingredients for the soup are:  1 large snow pear (preferably the sweeter kind with a thick, orange-brown skin), some dried longans (or dragon eyes), dried wolfberries, and rock sugar (adjusted to exactly the way you want).  I tend to use less sweet versions, so adjust accordingly!

The great thing about these massive Korean snow pears is that they produce a lot of fruit flesh.  Look at the giant mound of fruit!

The ingredients for the soup are:  1 large snow pear (preferably the sweeter kind with a thick, orange-brown skin), some dried longans (or dragon eyes), dried wolfberries, and rock sugar (adjusted to exactly the way you want).  I tend to use less sweet versions, so adjust accordingly!

The great thing about these massive Korean snow pears is that they produce a lot of fruit flesh.  Look at the giant mound of fruit!

 Boil on high heat for 15 minutes (or to the desired crunchiness of your snow pears) and adjust the sweetness as well. I prefer it less sweet, but depends on your sweet tooth.

Serve piping hot and enjoy!

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Chilled Coconut Milk with Tapioca Pearls and Fresh Fruit

Chilled Coconut Milk with Tapioca Pearls and Fresh Fruit

Chilled Coconut Milk with Tapioca Pearls and Fresh Fruit

Soup Name:

Chilled Coconut Milk with Tapioca Pearls and Fresh Fruit

Traditional Chinese Name:

椰汁西米露 (Yē zhī xī mǐ lù)

 

I had a craving for a cold, sweet, coconut milk flavoured dessert and the only thing that came to mind was this commonly available dessert in Hong Kong that matched it.

I always thought it was hard to make, but after some research and discussions with the people at those dessert shops, it’s super easy!!

The thing I love about it is that you can make the base, primarily made of coconut milk, and then add whatever fruit, toppings, additives you want to make it your own. This worked great for the kids!

What’s involved?

Prep time: 40 mins

Cook time: 30 mins + 2 hours chill

Total time: 3 hours 10 mins

Serves: 6 bowls

Ingredients

  • 1 can of coconut milk
  • 1 cup of whole milk
  • 3 cups of water
  • rock sugar (as sweet as you like – taste if first!)
  • 1 cup of small tapioca pearls
  • fresh fruit, chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • condensed milk (optional to sweeten if not sweet enough)

Cooking Instructions

  1. Soak the tapioca in cool water for 30 minutes first. In a pot of cold water, boil tapioca pearls on medium heat for around 10-15 minutes. Check the consistency and transparency of the pearls. When they are done, they’ll be completely transparent, but be careful they don’t start to melt.
  2. Remove from heat and run through cold water to separate. You can either leave in a bowl with cold water or just leave them in a bowl when sufficiently cooled. Set at room temperature is OK.
  3. In a separate pot, boil the water with the rock sugar.
  4. When the rock sugar has completely melted, reduce heat to a low boil and add in coconut milk and whole milk. Boil and stir together for about 5 minutes. Taste to see if it’s sweet enough. If not, you can add more rock sugar and boil on low heat until the sugar is dissolved.
  5. Remove from heat and chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours.
  6. When ready to eat, in a serving bowl, ladle in as much coconut milk as you like, add the tapioca pearls and load on the fruits!
  7. Enjoy!

To start, the base is simply coconut milk, whole (or skim) milk, water, and rock sugar. Some recipes call for evaporated milk, but after sampling it with just the milks, water and sugar, it was smooth and rich enough for me.
You can find these types of tapioca (or sago) pearls from the supermarket or wet mart.

They come in a variety of sizes, flavours and colours. Typically, for this dessert, use the smaller, white pearls that turn transparent when boiled. They are flavourless and turn into a chewy ball of … chewy.

First, soak the tapioca in warm water for about 30 minutes. This will soften and expand them slightly. You then need to boil the tapioca until it’s completely cooked. You’ll know it’s completely cooked when the entire ball turns transparent. Semi-cooked will show a white spot in the middle.

The problem is that smaller balls will cook faster and then start dissolving on you, so just take care to judge how well done on average your tapioca pearls are. The trick is that you rinse the tapioca in COLD, running water after you’ve cooked it. Some people continue to soak them in a bit of cold water, or just leave them to sit cool.  If you keep the warm, they will continue to cook and then merge into one giant ugly ball of tapioca!

Next, start to boil your water and let the rock sugar dissolve. Taste to see how sweet you prefer it because everyone is different. I went with a less sweet version and if people wanted it sweeter, I gave them condensed milk to mix in – just as yummy!

 

Reduce heat to a low simmer and mix in the coconut milk and whole (or skim) milk. You don’t want to boil the coconut milk too much or it starts to break down and separate, so give it enough heat to mix together.  Boil for around 10 minutes and remove from heat.  This dessert is best eaten cold, so I moved it to the fridge to cool for a few hours.

The last thing is to put it together – your way.  I personally love fresh fruit with mine, so when the coconut milk mixture was sufficient cooled, I added the tapioca pearls and fresh strawberries.  It’s great with fresh, chilled melons, pears, mango, durian or whatever your great imaginative mind comes up with!

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Simple Vegetable Soup for Children

Simple Vegetable Soup for Children

Simple Vegetable Soup for Children

Soup Name:

Simple Vegetable Soup for Children

Traditional Chinese Name:

簡單菜湯 (Jiǎn dān cài tāng)

 

At the last minute, I needed to stay home and make dinner – so while scrounging through my staple supplies of groceries, I found 3 simple ingredients to whip up a quick-boil Chinese soup with noodles. I say quick-boil because this soup took me about 10 minutes to prep and then boiled on medium-high heat for about 30 minutes. On top of that, we ended up eating all the contents as sides, which saved me even more time! It pays to have extras in the fridge sometimes!

What’s involved?

Prep time: 10 mins

Cook time: 30 mins

Total time: 40 mins

Serves: 6 bowls

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon of dried shredded conpoys (can use whole ones as well)

  • 2 large fresh corn, quartered

  • 2 large potatoes, halved

  • 3 fresh tomatoes, halved

  • 1 teaspoon of chicken powder (or half a cup of chicken stock)

  • 2 L of water

Cooking Instructions

  1. Boil your soup water
  2. When the water boils, add all the ingredients together
  3. Boil on medium-high for 30 minutes

Any benefits?

  • This soup contains no fat
  • All natural ingredients serves as a hearty meal
  • Quick and easy soup to make
  • Excellent soup to go with noodles, macaroni, or just on its own and you can add any other vegetables you like (or happen to have in your fridge)

Tri-coloured Pepper Vegetarian Soup

Soup Name: Tri-coloured Pepper Vegetarian Soup

Traditional Chinese Name:  三色椒素湯 (sān sè jiāo sù tāng)

Introduction:
I was inspired to make this soup from my mother-in-law, who used the tri-coloured peppers with pork in one of her soups. You don’t immediately associate these peppers to taste good in soups, but with the right combination of ingredients, it’s actually pretty tasty and extremely healthy! I went for a vegetarian soup to keep it clean and simple and used chestnuts to enhance the soup flavour (instead of meat). My husband is normally not a fan of my “natural & bland” soups, but he thought this was a hit and went back for thirds. To have the kids drink more, I made Japanese noodles and used the soup as the soup base and they drank/ate it all – fabulous!

Amount serves: 8 large bowls

What Ingredients are required?

10 fresh chestnuts, peeled
1 red bell pepper, halved
1 large white onion, halved
1 yellow bell pepper, halved
1 green bell pepper, halved
3 large fresh corn, quartered
3 fresh tomatoes, halved

3 L of water

How do I prepare it?

  1. In a separate pot (not your soup pot), boil the chestnuts for 5 minutes
  2. Remove from heat and immediately peel the chestnuts (both the outer skin and the inner skin)
  3. Boil your soup water
  4. Prepare your vegetables
  5. When the water boils, add all the ingredients together
  6. Boil on medium for 1.5 hours (or use a thermal pot for at least 1.5 hours)

Any benefits?

  • This soup contains no fat
  • All natural ingredients serves as a hearty meal
  • Bell peppers are an excellent source of carotenoids, Vitamin C, A, B6 and E
  • This soup is packed with antioxidants, which help in staying youthful!
  • All the ingredients of this soup are readily available and easy to find

Any precautions?

  • Bell peppers’ benefits can be reduced when it’s been exposed to high heat (and breaks down)

 

Tofu and Mushrooms Miso Soup

Tofu and Mushrooms Miso Soup

Tofu and Mushrooms Miso Soup

Soup Name:

Tofu and Mushrooms Miso Soup

Traditional Chinese Name:

豆腐蘑菇味噌湯 (dòu fu mó gu wèi zēng tāng)

This tea is slightly cooling in nature and sweet to taste.  The tofu and kale are both cooling ingredients.

 

For videos, visit us on YouTube.

A variation on the original miso soup (which, by the way is a great soup base in itself), this hearty vegetarian soup is really easy to make with readily available ingredients. I like to keep kale or some seaweed in my pantry, as the kids love it. You need to use relatively firm tofu and depending on how much “stuff” you want in your soup, you can add more or less. Here’s my take on this soup – hearty. I love to eat seaweed and I love tofu, so I really made this soup rich, thick and packed with protein. Optional additions include fresh scallions, scallops or shrimps.

What’s involved?

Prep time: 5 mins

Cook time: 20 mins

Total time: 25 mins

Serves: 6 bowls

What’s involved?
Any benefits?
  • This is a great soup base for other additional ingredients.
  • Excellent for children and great source of protein
  • It’s a super easy soup to make with a good balance of amino acids, and B Vitamins
  • It is a naturally salty addition (so no salt needed), but do use the miso paste in moderation

For videos, visit us on YouTube.

Cooking Instructions
  1. Boil your soup water, add in the diced garlic, scallions and kale and boil on medium heat for 5 minutes
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients (tofu, mushroom and miso paste) and boil on medium for 5 minutes while stirring or whisking (to melt/mix the miso paste)
  3. Boil on medium heat for another 10 minutes
  4. Serve and enjoy!

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