What started as a simple vegetable soup, turned into an interesting mix of hot and cold vegetables because I could! The children had the soup warm, served with macaroni for dinner and it’s an easy quick boil, meatless soup. You can add real meat if you’d like, ideally chicken breast or thighs for a quick boil or even Chinese preserved ham. A great, quick soup for those times when you’re just running out of time, but have a fridge full of vegetables! The base is quite easy and you can add any other vegetables that suit your taste!
For the quick boil, you’ll need to have small pieces of vegetables to enable them to cook faster and release flavours faster. I always keep the cobs for the soup base, there is SO MUCH flavour in those things! Throw everything into a pot of boiling water as a start.
Throw in the shucked loose corn and broth and boil on high heat for 30 minutes. You can throw in the snow peas to blanch for 2 minutes and then serve. What I also did here was have extra “greek salad” ingredients (raw cucumbers, raw tomatoes, and parsley) just for fun – but it tasted awesome!
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 30 mins
Total time: 40 mins
Serves: 6 bowls
1/2 fresh Japanese pumpkin, cubed (with skin off)
2 fresh corn, shucked (keep the cob for the soup)
20 fresh snow peas
1 teaspoon of vegetable broth powder (or half a cup of vegetable soup stock)
2 L of water
In a pot of boiling water, add cubed pumpkin, corn cobs, corn kernals and stock (or powder)
Boil in high for 30 minutes
Before serving, blanch the snow peas in the soup for 2 minutes
Serve and enjoy!
The beauty of this is that you can add in your choice of cubed vegetables, such as carrots, radish, and even tomatoes that compliment the sweet flavours of the pumpkin.
Alternatively, you can use miso paste instead of chicken powder, which is just as tasty as quick boil!
Soup Name: Sweet Potato, Corn and Chinese Yam in Fish Soup
Traditional Chinese Name: 蕃薯玉米魚湯 (gān shǔ yù mǐ yú tāng)
This simple and slightly sweet soup is really ideal for kids and children. I originally made this as a base for a lunch (consisting of fish balls and macaroni) and the kids loved it! Soups are so diverse in that you can use it as a base for stews, congee, noodles and other Chinese dishes. Keeping it simple will allow you to diversify your “final” dish and get really creative!
This is basically vegetables and water, but to think that a combination of the right vegetables can be so tasty! You really don’t need to add any additives such as salt, sugar or meat because it really is delicious as it is. Consider using a variety of vegetables as well, such as red beets (which I will try as a recommendation from a friend), potatoes, yams, Chinese yams and more. This soup is ideal for any age group, condition and individual!
Soup Name: Chinese pumpkin with sweet potato and tomato soup
Traditional Chinese Name: 三甘湯 (sān gān tāng)
Introduction: The name is quite interesting because I learned about this soup from my vegetable vendor in the wet mart in Hong Kong. The 3 (三 – sān) implies 3 keys vegetables ingredients, that being: Chinese pumpkin, sweet potato and tomatos. The base of this soup is rich in vitamins, extremely sweet and a neutral soup for the whole family to drink. You can add other ingredients to this vegetable soup pending your creativity and physical needs.
The Chinese pumpkin is similar to the Japanese pumpkin in taste and do produce a very similar sweetness to soups. It’s a great texture to eat when boiled soft and packed with nutrients. Not always the easiest ingredient to find (even in wet marts), but if you can find it fresh and available, pick one up!
What is this?
A gourd that is part of the squash family
This type of pumpkin is seedless and come in relatively large sizes
There are a variety of pumpkins that come in skin colours of orange, yellow, green, white, red and gray
They are cooked in a variety of ways: boiled, in pies, soups, cakes, cookies, seeds, fried, baked, steamed, desserts
Pumpkins provide a good source of carbohydrates and are extremely high in Vitamin A, C, and betacartone (the stuff that’s good for your eyes)
How do I prepare it?
Cut the pumpkin into halves and quarters first using a large knife
You can then slowly peel away the skin by resting the pumpkin flat on one-side and slicing away the skin
Some people will boil the skin with the soup (although this completely up to you)
Where can I buy this?
Most asian supermarkets will carry Chinese pumpkin
Your local wet mart will also carry it
What is the cost?
On average, a half-sized Chinese pumpkin will cost $20-$25 HKD (as pictured above in size)
Pumpkins are extremely high in Vitamin A, C, and beta-carotene
They are a good source of carbohydrates
Be careful of cutting pumpkins, it is not an easy task