Another simple soup with a few ingredients you can pick up at your local grocery or wet mart. The winter melon is usually more readily available during the warmer months in HK, but beef and fish balls are in season all the time (yah, in the frozen section of your friendly supermarket). Use the simplest balls, that being beef and fish balls without any surprises on the inside (Taiwanese styled fish balls usually have exploding surprises, so avoid these). The flavors of the balls (mainly salt and whatever other marinades they use) will seep out and make your soup tasty, so don’t add salt unless you’ve tried it first. You can make this soup in about thirty minutes by simply throwing all the ingredients together. In this case, I separated the peel from the flesh so that the melon could soften quicker. In “old fire” wintermelon soups, I will keep the peel attached – but this is really up to personal preference.
Soup Name: Winter Melon and Beef and Fish Balls Soup
Traditional Chinese Name: 冬瓜湯 (dōng guā tāng)
Winter Melon and Beef and Fish Balls Soup
Recipe Type: Soup
Cuisine: Chinese Soup
1 large slice of [url href=”http://www.thechinesesouplady.com/winter-melon/”]winter melon[/url], sliced with skin off (but the peel is also boiled as part of the soup)
10 precooked beef balls
10 precooked fish balls
2 L of water
Start boiling your soup water
Wash the winter melon skin and then peel the skin off the winter melon and cube the remaining winter melon flesh
Rinse the beef and fish balls in warm water
When the water boils, throw all the ingredients together
Boil on high for 30 minutes
Serve and enjoy!
[b]Any benefits?[/b][br][br]Excellent soup for children, especially during the heaty months[br]Winter melons are known to remove heatiness and helps detoxify the body[br]It is ideal in removing phelgm from the lungs[br]It is also particularly effective in regulating blood sugar levels[br][br][b]Any precautions?[/b][br][br]Like most melons, they will sour the soup the longer you keep it, so try to consume all of it in one day[br]Since it is a cooling food, it should be carefully consumed if pregnant (less than 3 months into term) or menstruating (can cause contractions)
It’s Chinese New Year’s and what better time to make a blood red soup than this special holiday? The red beet is as red as a vegetable as you can get and mixed with other hearty vegetables, makes for a meal in itself!
Use any type of pork meat and boil it for the red beets to seep out its rich, vibrant red. I forewarned the children that this would be a more “unique” soup, but after one sip, they loved it! It’s also a very neutral soup ideal for the whole family.
Traditional Chinese Name: 三色椒素湯 (sān sè jiāo sù tāng)
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?
In a separate pot (not your soup pot), boil the chestnuts for 5 minutes
Remove from heat and immediately peel the chestnuts (both the outer skin and the inner skin)
Boil your soup water
Prepare your vegetables
When the water boils, add all the ingredients together
Boil on medium for 1.5 hours (or use a thermal pot for at least 1.5 hours)
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
Bell peppers’ benefits can be reduced when it’s been exposed to high heat (and breaks down)
Soup Name: Vegetables and Dried Octopus with Mung Beans Soup
Traditional Chinese Name: 雜菜綠豆章魚湯 (Zá cài lǜ dòu zhāng yú tāng)
When it rains, the Chinese like using beans to absorb moisture from the body. Mung beans, dried beans, red beans, green beans, yellow beans, big beans and little beans – any type of beans will do really! The octopus is known to be a heaty ingredient and therefore is balanced with the cooler mung beans. This combination with lotus root is a delicious Spring Chinese soup ideal for the whole family. I’ve also added a variety of vegetables to sweeten it and dilute the unique taste of the octopus that my children pick up on. On top of this, it gives you a hearty soup that you can eat as a meal or additional dishes to your meal – like the corn.
Traditional Chinese Name: 冬瓜雞腳湯 (dōng guā jī jiǎo tāng)
The feet of the chicken are one of the Chinese’s most interesting “unwanted” parts of the chicken (after the bottom parts). It’s so versatile that the Chinese use chicken feet in soups, stews, dim sum and other dishes. I remember back in the days when I was a young lad that my parents would go to the Western super markets and get chicken feet by the bags for a whole dollar. It’s definitely not as cheap anymore because of the influx of demanding chicken feet eaters, but still an affordable, tasty and collagen packed ingredient. This wintermelon soup is simple to make and if you’re a single gal (or guy) you can make it in a one person pot. My husband really liked this soup and gobbled all the feet. Thanks for the clean up job, sweetie!
Amount serves: 5-6 large soup bowls (around 300 mL each)
Soak the gingo biloba and lotus seed in warm water for 10 minutes
Rinse and cut off the nails on your chicken feet
In a small pot of boiling water, blanch your chicken feet for 5 minutes
Remove chicken feet from boiling water, strain and set aside
Boil your soup water
When the soup boils, throw all the ingredients together
Boil on high (covered) for 30 minutes, reduce to a medium boil for another 30 minutes (you can continue to boil or use a thermal cooker to keep it hot, as some people love their chicken feet super soft)
Serve and enjoy!
This soup is excellent for cooling down the body and heat from hot summer days
Chicken feet is an excellent source of collagen and is low in fat
Women in their first trimester of pregnancy should avoid as it is an extremely cooling soup and may cause contractions (you can add more ginger slices to “heat” up the soup)
Melon soups are best consumed within same day as keeping melon soups overnight or over an extended period will make the melons sour (and so will your soup!)