I know, I know. It’s called ABC soup. As easy as A-B-C. But I call it ABCD for a specific reason. My version has 4 main ingredients in it and I like to imagine each alphabet representing a specific main ingredient. It didn’t feel fair leaving one out. I’m strange like that. 😀
I rarely get the chance to boil soups during the week because for me, good soups require about 2 hours of simmering before it develops good flavour from whatever meat or bones I use. After work, there just isn’t enough time. Sometimes I make quick soups using dried scallops and dried oysters for the soup base and then add things like napa cabbage and tofu for a very clear sweet soup. Other times I’ve made seaweed soup which I love. And not forgetting miso soup. These can easily be whipped up within 15-20 minutes. However when I want some deep, flavoursome, body-regenerating soups, I fall back to those gentle hours-long simmering types. Yes, I earnestly believe that good soups can replenish nutrients and heal your body. Not unlike the Western view of chicken noodle soup. Don’t get me wrong, I lurve rich soups like mushroom soup, minestrone, oxtail soup, cream of pumpkin etc. But there is a time for everything and for me, light yet rich soups make me happy any day of the week. (ps: if you’re looking for great Western soup recipes, this site has some nice selections, among others)
I usually like to boil soups for Sunday lunch after our assembly meetings. We would have the gospel meeting and then everyone would stay back for lunch. I’m not sure how but somewhere along the line, I became the soup lady. 🙂 And so I try to get some soup into my trusty Thermos in the morning and it would still be steaming hot by the time we have lunch at 1pm.
Because Saturdays can be hectic (cleaning, meeting my mom or friends, catching up on chores), I don’t tend to boil my soup on the stove. Also, because it’s for Sunday, I don’t like having ready soup sitting out overnight in this humid weather. And my fridge is is too packed up to fit a massive pot. So I fallback to my slow-cooker. Dump everything into the pot, add boiling water, turn on low and go to bed! Next morning, voila! And you have soup.
Here’s how I do my version of the ABCD soup:
The base of ALL my Chinese soups: red dates, dried oysters, dried scallops, solomon’s seals (yuk chuk) and wolfberries (kei chi). I ran out of wolfberries. 🙁 But I must have a handful in. It’s good for your eyes, people.
Pork knuckle bones or whatever soup bones you prefer. I’ve made it with with chicken carcass and it’s delish. And a slice of ginger (which I forgot to include)
My main ingredients are: Carrot, onion, potato, tomato. There’s my ABCD.
Peel whatever you have to and dunk everything in a slow cooker with some salt and pepper.
Add freshly boiled water, leaving about 1-2 cm from the top just so nothing spills over.
Place the lid on, and leave it on LOW for 8 hours.
I skimmed off some oil but it wasn’t really that much seeing the bones didn’t have much meat on them. The soup was so sweet and tasty! I’ll put up more soup recipes as I go along. 🙂 It’s been rainy these days. Nothing better than a bowl of hot soup on a cool rainy day.
“Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort” (2 Corinthians 1:3)
6-7 dried Oysters
6-7 dried Scallops
4 pcs Solomon’s Seal
4 red Dates
1 carrot, peeled & wedged
1 potato, peeled & wedged
1 onion, peeled
2 slices Ginger
150 gms pork knuckle Bones
Salt & Pepper, to taste
- Optional: Blanch bones in boiling hot water. (I usually do this although in the picture above I didn’t)
- Prepare the ingredients and place everything into a slow cooker or stock pot.
- If using slow cooker, add boiling water until it comes 1-2cm shy of the top, replace the lid and turn it to LOW for 8 hours. However if using stock pot, add filtered water (about 2 litres, give or take) and bring to a boil before turning it to a simmer for 2 hours.