Friday, 18 February 2011

Lotus Root Soup 莲藕汤

I'm a soup person - creamy ones, clear ones, chinese ones, western ones, I like most of them. I don't drink a lot of water, but I like soup and I grew up mainly in an environment where Cantonese soup is part of the daily diet. If you do not already know, cantonese soups are the most delicious (and probably most nutritious) and are usually cooked over a slow fire for a couple of hours so that the full flavour of the ingredients get into the soup. I also like it that by the end of a few hours, all the ingredients would have usually be quite soft and easy to eat (you see, not only am I lazy, my digestive system is also lazy). Some people will only drink the soup and leave the ingredients. I drink all the soup AND eat all the ingredients.

For a long time, I've been wanting to share with you how I cook soup. But I usually throw in the ingredients "by feel", so this time, I have remembered to take measurements so that it's easier for documentation. Cooking soups this way, for me, totally eliminates the need to add salt or other seasoning. Not to mention MSG, which you can be sure is added, if you eat out.

There is no hard and fast rule about ingredients you add to the soup. There are the basics like pork ribs or chicken, but the addition of each optional ingredient adds their own flavour to the end product. So for me, dried cuttlefish, dried scallops, honey dates and red dates are just as important as the pork ribs.

I use this mainly as a base for other soups too, e.g. old cucumber soup, watercress soup, by just playing around with the omission/addition of the optional items (see notes on variation for what I do with other soups).

Do check out the recipe here. There are some notes at the end which can be rather long-winded, but I just want to explain every step of how I do things.

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