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)

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)

Loquat Soup (For The Lungs)

Soup Name: Loquat soup

Traditional Chinese Name: 川貝枇杷湯 (chuān bèi pípá tāng)

A great soup for nourishing the lungs, helping with coughs and reducing phlegm.  It is a great soup for the changing season of summer to autumn when it fluctuates between hot and cold.  The ingredients are very herbal focused and most often used in Chinese medicine to help with lung deficiencies and rejuvenation and healing.  For children, use less herbal and more natural ingredients (like vegetables).  I made this soup with fish, but you can make it with pork instead.

What Ingredients are required?

2 fresh Grass Carp fish tails
3 fresh corn

30 g of dried loquat leaves
20 g of fu ling
5 g of dried licorice root (or 7-8 slices)
15 g of
Creeping Liriope Root Tuber
8 g of
Bulbus Fritillariae Cirrhosae (or chuān bèi)
5 g of dried figwort root (or 5-6 small pieces)
5 g of dried lily bulb (or 5-6 pieces)
1 tablespoon of  apricot kernals
5-6 preserved sweet dates

2 slices of fresh ginger
2-3 litres of water
1 tsp of salt to marinate your fish
1 tsp of oil to fry your fish

How do I prepare it?

  1. After the fish is cleaned, wipe the fish with paper towels or a cloth to remove excess water
  2. Cover the fish with a small amount of salt (inside and out)
  3. Let it sit for an hour and then drain any water
  4. Peel and cut all the vegetables
  5. Start boiling your soup water
  6. In a pan, add oil and fry the ginger with the fish on low-medium heat (until the fish is completely cooked and the skin is a slightly browned)
  7. Put the fish into a soup bag and add to boiling soup water
  8. Add all Chinese herbs and remaining ingredients to the soup
  9. Boil on high for 30 minutes and reduce to continually boiling for another 1.5 hours
  10. Serve and enjoy!

Any benefits?

  • Excellent soup for removing internal fire and heatiness
  • Ideal for relieving cough symptoms, rejuvenating the lungs and removing phlegm

Any precautions?

  • Considered a cooling soup, so women who are less than 3 months pregnant should take caution
  • Use a soup bag to avoid disintegration of fish and bones – which can be potentially dangerous to children