Black Silkie Chicken with Vegetables and Chestnuts

Soup Name: Black Silkie Chicken with Vegetables and Chestnuts

Traditional Chinese Name:  黑雞蘿蔔玉米栗子湯 (hēi jī luó bo yù mǐ lì zǐ tāng)

Introduction:
Black silkie chickens aren’t the most appealing animals to look at, but it can really pack a delicious punch to soups. I usually boil the chicken with the skin on and will eat the chicken as part of the soup. The meat is silky, tender and delicious. You can treat this like normal chicken, adding the same ingredients as other chicken soups. The black silkie chicken isn’t always available and costs slightly more (about 30-50% more) than your average chicken (of the same size). Black silkie chickens tend to be smaller in size as well. The soup I made here is my simple vegetable soup (with any type of meat). Corn and carrots are naturally sweet already and because I love the soft, melted texture of the boiled onion, I throw that in as well (and the kids don’t really taste it).

Amount serves: 4 servings (around 250 mL each)

What Ingredients are required?

1 whole fresh black silkie chicken, quartered (with skin and innards)
20 fresh chestnuts, peeled
2 whole corn, halved
2 whole carrots, sliced
2 fresh white onions, halved
10 dried scallops (conpoys)

3 L of water

How do I prepare it?

  1. Soak your conpoy in warm water for about 10 minutes.
  2. Boil a medium pot of water (for the chestnuts). When the water boils, add in the chestnuts to boil for 5 minutes.
  3. If you can, immediately peel the chestnuts (as its easiest to peel when it’s still hot). Set aside.
  4. Empty the water and boil a new pot to blanch the chicken (including the innards).
  5. Boil your soup water and prepare the vegetables.
  6. Once your soup water boils, add all the ingredients together.
  7. Boil on high heat for 30 minutes and reduce to a medium simmer for another hour.
  8. Salt as needed, serve and enjoy!

Any benefits?

  • This soup is lean in fat and high in protein. The meat of the silkie chicken is very tasty and the chicken itself is usually skinnier and has less fat than of its white counterpart
  • The silkie chicken soup base is great to freeze and use later (by adding fresh vegetables or fruits)
  • This soup is ideal for children (and the whole family)
  • You can add literally any vegetables with the black silkie chicken

Any precautions?

  • Be sure to wash your hands thoroughly after handling raw chicken meat

Luo Han Guo in Watercress Soup

Soup Name: Luo Han Guo in Watercress Soup

Traditional Chinese Name: 羅漢果西洋菜湯 (luóhàn guǒ xī yáng cài tāng)

Introduction:
This soup is excellent for assisting in coughs and removing phelgm.  It also aids in providing moisture (with the chestnuts) to the body and lungs for those dry autumn and winter months.  It is considered a pretty sweet soup and ideal for all ages.

What Ingredients are required?

1 pound of fresh pork shank
1/2 dried luo han guo
1 tablespoon of  apricot kernals
15 whole raw chestnuts
2-3 bunches of fresh watercress
1 large piece of dried tangerine peel

2-3 L of water
1 teaspoon of salt (to marinate the pork)


How do I prepare it?

  • Pre-marinate the pork overnight with the salt (although this step is not necessary)
  • Boil your soup water
  • Blanch pork shank in a separate pot of boiling water
  • In another separate pot, boil chestnuts for 2-3 minutes.  Remove from water and peel while still hot (removing the outer and inner skin)
  • Half luo han guo and rinse in warm water
  • Wash and soak apricot kernals and tangerine peel in warm water
  • When the water boils, add all the ingredients together except the watercress (this should be added last because it will stay relatively crunchy before consumption)
  • Boil on high for thirty minutes and reduce to a simmer for another 1.5 hours (or use a thermal pot)
  • When almost ready to drink, re-boil and add in watercress.  Boil on high for 10 minutes (or until desired softness of watercress)
  • Serve and enjoy!

Any benefits?

  • An excellent soup to assist with coughs and loosening of phlegm
  • Ideal for dry autumn consumption as it helps moisten the lungs and body
  • Low in fat
  • Naturally sweet

Any precautions?

  • The luo han guo produces a very sweet and distinct taste that is subjective to the drinker
  • I would suggest trying half of a fruit on your first attempt and see if you like it, definitely do not add more than 1 fruit to a soup
  • The watercress, while considered a cooling vegetable, can be consumed in moderation if in early pregnancy (use less as a precaution)

Chayotes and Corn with Seabed Coconut in Pork Broth

Soup Name:  Chayotes and Corn with Seabed Coconut in Pork Broth

Traditional Chinese Name: 合掌瓜玉米海底椰豬骨湯 (hup jeung gwa yù mǐ hai di ye zhū gǔ tāng) 
 
Introduction:
A neutral soup that aids with cough and cold symptoms, it’s mildly sweet and brings moisture to the body.  Rich ingredients make for a rich broth.  Baby and pregnant friendly, it’s a great soup!

What Ingredients are required?

1 pound of fresh pork bones 
15 fresh chestnuts
3-4 fresh chayotes
2-3 fresh corn
5-6 fresh seabed coconuts (or Coco de Mer)
1 piece of dried tangerine peel
2-3 L of water
1 teaspoon of salt (to marinate the pork)

How do I prepare it? 

  1. Pre-marinate the pork bones overnight with the salt (although this step is not necessary)
  2. Boil your soup water
  3. Blanch pork bones in a separate pot of boiling water
  4. Wash chestnuts and boil for 10 minutes (or until shell is soft)
  5. Peel chestnuts while they are still hot (use gloves or towel)
  6. Wash, cut and cube chayotes (with skin) and corn 
  7. Wash and soak seabed coconut and tangerine peel
  8. When the water boils, add all the ingredients together
  9. Boil on high for thirty minutes, reduce to a simmer boil for another 2 hours
  10. Serve and enjoy!

Any benefits?

  • Helps with cough symptoms
  • Neutral soup ideal for children and pregnant woman
  • Chestnuts help add moisture to body
  • Low in fat soup with high protein value in its content

Any precautions?

  • Be sure to purchase seabed coconut from a reliable source
  • If intended for helping cough symptoms, don’t use carrots (as carrots will enhance coughing)

Pork Bones and Lotus Root with Chestnuts Soup

Soup Name: Pork Bones and Arrowroot Soup

Traditional Chinese Name: 蓮藕栗子湯 (lián ou lì zi tāng)


Introduction:

This savory soup is sweet in taste and healthy to eat.  It’s rich in vitamins and fiber and is neutral for your body.  Caution may need to be taken with chestnuts as it can potentially be allergenic, although it is not very common.


What Ingredients are required?

1 pound of fresh pork bones
2 large lotus roots
3 large dried dates
5-6 pieces of dried scallop
10 – 15 chestnuts

1 teaspoon of salt (to marinate the pork bones)

How do I prepare it?

  1. Mix salt and pork bones together and let sit in a bag for at least an hour (best overnight)
  2. Wash the pork bones thoroughly in cool running water
  3. Start boiling your water soup and add the dried dates and conpoys
  4. In a separate pot, blanch the pork bones and strain it to remove any dirt and debris from the blanching
  5. Add the pork bones and chopped lotus root to the boiling water of your soup
  6. In a separate pot, boil the chestnuts for 5 minutes
  7. Strain and immediately peel the shell and outer skin
  8. Put the peeled and boiled chestnuts into your boiling soup
  9. Boil together for at least 60-90 minutes on high heat.  The longer you boil it, the tastier the soup.  It is best eaten when the pork is falling off the bones.

Any benefits?

  • This soup is high in fiber and is good for muscles, nerves and veinous system

Any precautions?

  • The longer you boil this soup, the tastier it gets, but that also means the chestnuts will begin to disintegrate.  If boiled too long, the chestnuts will thicken the soup and its remnants will sink to the bottom.