Monday, February 16, 2009

Make your Own Soup: Carrot Soup

SMALL FAN is getting more and more picky with food, he always says he don't want rice but he wants Koko Crunch, Sweets, Ice-cream, MacDonald etc... Luckily, he seems to be ok with drinking soup. He used to love creamy soup, but nowsaday, he likes clear soup and will refuse to taste any soup that looks like there is some residue on it. So, have been trying to cook good soup for him to drink, so if he did not eat rice etc, at least there is some good soup to keep him healthy.

Lucky for me, I have 2 really good "shi fu" (my mum and in-law) who can cook great soup, so I will try to learn from them. What is interesting about this 2 "shi fu" is their style of cooking. As I grew up in a teochew family, my mum tends to cook clear soup for us every day. These soup normally took like 1 to 2 hours to cook, my mum's theory is that if you cook too long, the soup became very heaty (not too sure about this theory though). So mum's soup tends to have a cooling properties and she uses a lot of vegetables. For my mum-in-law, as she is a cantonese, they believe in "Ao Tang" that is stew and cook the soup until the vitamins all go into the soup, so she will boil the soup for like hours until you can't see the bottom of the soup. So, her soup tends to be more of a heaty properties and she uses a lot of chinese herbs. So, for me, I will combine both style of cooking. Some times if I feel that SMALL FAN is getting heaty from eating all the koko crunch, I will cook the teochew style soup, while on other days when I feel like giving our body a boost with herbs, I will cook the cantonese style. So, this part of my blog is dedicated to my soup recipes. Along the way, i will also include some western soup so Enjoy!

Here's the very first recipe:

Carrot Soup
Ingredient & Instructions (this soup serve about a family of 2 adults and 2 kids)

* Lean Pork (about $5)
* 1 White Carrot (or 2 organic white carrots)
* 2 Orange Carrots
* 1 stock of celery
* a small piece of ginger
* 2 to 3 pieces of dried abalone (scale with hot water)
* 5 to 6 red dates - optional (scale with hot water to get rid of any dust particles)
* 8 cups of water (need to adjust the water accordingly, if you like it more diluted, add more water)

1. Scale the pork in hot boiling water to get rid of the blood stain. Cut carrots and celery into large chunk, slice the ginger.
2. Boil some water, then blanch the white carrots to get rid of the bitter taste.
3. Put a little oil and stir fry the ginger, then throw in the meat. Then pour in water and the rest of the vegetables, the dried abalone and red dates. Bring soup to a boil, then lower the heat and cook for another hour and the soup is ready to drink. Add seasoning to taste. Normally I do not put any seasoning as the dried abalone is already salty enough.

Health benefit
: ok, according to the mini cookbook in my family(a chinese mini cookbook), this soup is good for bulding your gastric and help in digestion. Carrot has the propoerty of helping to stop cough, reduce heatiness and eliminate toxic.

Note: for those of you who are not sure what is this dried abalone, below is a picture of how it looked, you can get it at most chinese medicine shop or those market shop that sell dried goods.

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