As I began to expand my repertoire of soup knowledge, I learned a host of information from multiple sources about the benefits and techniques of making soups. Even though I am Chinese, the science of Chinese soup is not something you are born with. On second thought, maybe the Science of Chinese soup is really an Art. There is a world of soups that have yet to be undiscovered, and sometimes, being creative isn’t enough. In fact, being creative can be dangerous if you mix the wrong herbs and ingredients.
As my mother introduced me to her Chinese pharmacist friend, who owns a Chinese pharmacy and herb specialty store in Toronto, we went through some basics of soup making and appropriate combinations (which I will outline in a later article). You won’t believe how easy and then complicated it can get with the amount of Chinese herbs available. He also gave me plenty of pointers with regards to serving Chinese herbs to children and for pregnant women, which I will relay to you throughout this site.
We only begin to think in terms of soups with soups that we are familiar with. In the TONG household, we would often drink pork boned soups and usually with a host of vegetables (whatever happened to be in season). There was sometimes chicken soup as well, but as a whole, it would be a handful of yummy soups on rotation. Now that we’ve moved off on to our own and learning the art of soup making, you begin to develop your own favourites. This is what discovery is all about and through this site, I hope that you can begin to make these discoveries too. Yes, fish soup usually does require more work (because of the cleaning and gutting and frying of the fish), but the effort pays off. As well, I have always disregarded the importance of vegetarian soups. Since the Chinese love protein so much (especially those found in organ meat), you have to put effort to make your meal a balanced one. These days, it is said that people eat too much meat and that is so true – so with a vegetarian soup, you’re able to drink the goodness of soups and yet reduce the meat portion intake.
So in short, our soup discovery has only touched the surface. There is no soup site that is complete and some soups will vary on ingredients depending on locale of origin and purpose. This is the fun of learning, reading about and making soups. It’s always a tasty adventure.