Another soup for the damp, wet spring season! You’ll find a recurring theme within Spring soups, mainly consisting of an assortment of beans and certain vegetables that are diuretic. This is a simple soup with a pretty strong “bean” taste – so use less beans if it’s for kids. Mine found it a bit too “beany” and didn’t really like it that much. Consider adding corn to sweeten it up, but the adults lapped it up. It’s an easy to drink soup that is excellent for our health during this time of the year, especially when it’s wet and humid. You can also use chayotes, onions and fish for variation.
This soup is an easy and sweet soup that is perfect to warm you up on a chilly autumn or winter’s day. Chicken is considered to be very nourishing (補) and can give your body a good kick of healthy heartiness (this is similarly recognized by Westerners who drink chicken noodle soup when sick). To sweeten the soup, red dates are added. We also suggest adding a palmful of wolfberries to boost the qi or “chi” which is ideal for cool weather. Carrots round out this simple yet delicious soup. You can see from the photo that this recipe results in a rich, deeply-colored broth and I can assure you, it’s tasty, too! (Yes, I’m drinking as I type this post.) Depending on whether you use a fresh, whole chicken or alternatives, the difficulty of creating this soup can vary from 1-star (from pre-washed and cut chicken with minimal preparation) to 4-star (whole chicken from scratch).
Add red dates to your soup water and bring to a boil
When the water boils, combine all the ingredients together
Boil on medium-high for at least 1 hour
A warm soup that is perfect for autumn or winter
Chicken is very nourishing (補) and creates a healthful soup
Red dates are an excellent source of Vitamin C
Red dates are also used in throat-soothing drinks
Wolfberries are high in antioxidants and contain 6 essential vitamins, Beta-Carotene, Calcium, Potassium, Iron and Zinc
Wolfberries are also known to enhance the qi or “chi” in your body
Any tips or precautions?
Whenever using real, whole chicken, it’s useful to have an oil scooper on hand to help scoop out the fat and any large or small particles that float to the top of your soup. I usually need to use the scoop two or three times — once after the soup is fully boiled and still hot and there is an abundance of oil floating on the top, then once again after the soup has cooled slightly and you have additional oil and particles that have had time to float to the surface, and usually once again upon re-heating (possibly the next day).
Feel free to drink the same soup the next day after re-boiling. I like to make an extra big pot and any that isn’t finished can be drank and finished off the next day.
This simple, clean and very sweet soup is great for people with sore throats or heaty bodies. You can actually drink it cold or hot and it’s ideal for all seasons. I’ve decided to go meatless because I wanted to drink it cool and it turned out fabulous. Fat free, oil free and made with all natural ingredients, it’s great for kids and adults alike.
Meatless soup is great for vegetarians and is fat and oil free
Soup Name: Ginseng Fruit and Gobo in Vegetable Soup
Traditional Chinese Name: 牛蒡人参果湯 (niúbàng rénshēn guǒ tāng)
A very clear and deep sweet soup that is extremely flavorful and rich in Vitamins. Both the ginseng fruit and the gobo root give this soup all the flavor it needs, so no meat is required. You can add a variety of vegetables to it like carrots, corn, chayotes, onions to make your soup creation. The great thing about using ginseng fruit is that the soup actually smells and tastes like ginseng, but without the hole in your wallet!
To my readers: Project Food Blog is a competition hosted by foodbuzz to find the ultimate food blogger. I am an active participant – here’s my profile and this is my second challenge. I know that this is not a Chinese soup – but the challenge called for something out of my comfort zone so I have decided to venture away from anything Asian and yes, all the way to Africa. Please vote for me on Sept 27, 2010 when voting opens!
Something that is outside of my ethnic comfort zone would definitely have to be a place where I am DYING to go and have NEVER been. How does MOROCCO sound? It’s in the Kingdom of Morocco, located in North Africa. To me, this is foreign, exotic, sexy and new.
Because I am the Chinese soup lady and while being true to my passion for soups, I decided to try and make a Moroccan Sweet Potato, Carrot and Chickpea Soup.
The challenge of this challenge: I’m in Hong Kong and while it’s supposedly an international city – finding non-Asian ingredients aren’t always easy. Lucky for me (after 2 rounds of local supermarkets), I went to an international supermarket and paid an extravagant amount of money (as compared to my normal soup fare) for organic and imported goods. The interesting thing about this soup is that you almost start it like cooking a meal, but the end result is a delicious and fragrant soup. The Chinese don’t use such fragrant spices (in fact, a majority of the Chinese herbs are quite smelly), so my house immediately became an exotic place as soon as I added the spices with my husband coming home to say that the hallway of our apartment smelled “different”. Ah-haha… right. If he only knew how different dinner would be tonight! Ah-hahahaha…
The end result? I loved it and my husband compared it to a borscht, but he still downed 1 giant bowl. I then brought over a container full for my family the day after and my mom had 2 bowls, my pregnant sister had 1 bowl and even my sister in confinement (a Chinese postpartum methodology) had to sample some. You see, I could totally be an everything soup lady! The only damper to this experience was that my kids didn’t seem to appreciate it like the adults did (after experimenting the soup on 4 kids). I suspect that I will need to help broaden their horizons in the culinary arena by introducing more new and exciting flavors to their relatively limited Asian cuisines.
Add onion and garlic, stirring, cook for 5 minutes.
Stir in coriander, cumin and chili powder. Cook, stirring for 1 minute.
Add in sweet potato and carrots. Cook, stirring for 5 minutes.
Add chicken stock and cover.
Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally for 20 minutes.
Add chickpeas, stir and cover. Simmer for another 10-15 minutes or until chickpeas have softened.
Blend in batches and return to pot, simmer for 5 minutes, stirring.
Ladle to soups, top with croutons and serve!
See, it looks like a meal….but I love the colors, smell and these are some of my fav ingredients.
Like I said in my previous challenge, my palette prefers a little more H2O.
Getting up close and personal to the soup.
The great thing about making this soup is that it is a complete 180 degree of what I normally make and eat. To put this into perspective, it’s probably near impossible to find a Moroccan restaurant in Hong Kong – so instead of going there now, why not bring Morocco to Hong Kong? And no honey (this part dedicated to my husband), it doesn’t mean that I no longer want to go there, it makes me want to go there MORE!