chinese soup recipes

8 Easy and Healthy Chinese Soup Recipes to Try This Winter // What's Up, USANA?

I remember as a young girl, my mother would cook lotus root & rib soup for my family in the winter. The smell would waft into all the rooms, taunting my sister and me to run to the kitchen to have the first taste of the soup. I live in America now, but I continue to cook these soups to remind me of my home and family.

Since the Chinese New Year is coming up this January 28th, how about celebrating it with some Chinese soups? Soup can keep you warm and fill your stomach without too many calories. Don’t worry, the soup recipes I share with you here are healthy, tasty, and easy to cook. Some ingredients I listed have health benefits that originate from traditional Chinese medicine. You may need to visit an Asian market to find some of these ingredients. If you hope to give your family a healthy, home cooked meal and teach them about the Chinese culture, these recipes are perfect for you!

Lotus Root and Rib Soup 蓮藕排骨湯

Lotus Root and Rib Soup // What's Up, USANA?Ingredients:
1.5 lb. pork ribs
2 lb. lotus root
½ tsp. chopped ginger
½ tsp. salt, or to taste
Optional: red dates, raw peanuts

Directions:

  1. Wash chopped pork ribs, and blanch ribs in boiling water for 3-5 minutes.
  2. Add blanched ribs, chopped lotus root, and ginger into a big pot (or slow cooker), then add cold water to the pot until the water is 3 inches above ingredients.
  3. Cook until water boils, then turn the heat down to medium and cook for 3 hours (or 6-8 hours on high for slow cooker).
  4. Add ½ tsp. salt or to taste, and enjoy!

Did you know? Lotus root is an edible rhizome (root) of the lotus plant. It contains several beneficial phytonutrients, minerals, and vitamins, and is also a good source of dietary fiber. According to Organic Facts, it supports your blood circulation by its iron and copper contents. Every 100 grams of lotus root contains 73% of your daily requirement vitamin C.

Hot & Sour Soup 酸辣湯

Hot & Sour Soup // What's Up, USANA?Ingredients:
½ tsp. soy sauce
½ tsp. black vinegar
1/3 tsp. black pepper
½ tsp. potato starch
1 egg
½ tsp. sesame oil
½ tsp. salt
½ cup ham
Optional: ½ cup Dried Mushrooms and/or ½ cup Dried Black Fungus (soak to rehydrate prior to adding to soup), 1 cup Tofu, 1 tsp. green onion, chopped

Directions:

  1. Slice ham, dried mushrooms, dried black fungus, and tofu into thin strips.
  2. Boil water and add those ingredients to the boiling water. Return to boil and cook for 1 minute.
  3. Mix the potato starch with ½ cup of water and add to the soup, stirring slowly.
  4. Mix vinegar, soy sauce, and black pepper together and add to the soup, stirring slowly.
  5. Return pot to boiling. Add 1 beaten egg and stir.
  6. When the water boils again, turn the heat off.
  7. Add sesame oil and salt to taste.

Did you know? Hot and Sour Soup is a well-known homemade dish in USANA Ambassador and WTA player, Saisai Zheng’s hometown, Xi An, China, and it’s also her favorite soup.

“I like to eat soups before meals—it makes me eat less and keep fit. I really like how flavorful this soup is, and I can usually find it to eat when I travel around the world.”

Try this authentic, homemade Chinese soup!

Chicken and Mushroom Soup 香菇雞肉湯

Chicken and Mushroom Soup

Ingredients:
3 chicken legs
10 dried shiitake mushrooms
½ tsp. chopped ginger
½ tsp. chopped garlic
½ tsp. salt, or to taste

Directions:

  1. Stir fry chopped chicken legs with ginger and garlic until chicken becomes a golden color.
  2. Add rinsed shiitake mushrooms and add cold water 1 inch above ingredients.
  3. Cook over high heat until boiling.
  4. Turn heat down to medium and cook for 40 minutes or until meat is tender (or in a slow cooker on high for 6 hours).
  5. Add salt and enjoy!

Did you know? Mushrooms supply selenium, copper, niacin, potassium and phosphorous, etc. They also provide protein, vitamin C, and iron.

Seafood Congee 海鮮粥

Seafood Congee Soup

Ingredients:
5 oz. variety of fresh shrimp, crab, or other seafood
4 oz. rice
1/3 tsp. salt, or to taste
½ tsp. chopped green onion

Directions:

  1. Put rinsed rice and water an inch above the rice into a big pot.
  2. Cook on high heat until water boils. Turn heat down to medium heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
  3. Put chopped seafood mix and chopped ginger into the pot. Cook for 30 minutes and stir it occasionally. Add water if it becomes very thick.
  4. Add the salt and green onion, and enjoy the warm congee!

Red Bean Soup (sweet dessert) 紅豆粥

Red Bean Soup

Ingredients:
2 cups dried adzuki beans (small red beans)
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. dried tangerine peel (optional)

Directions:

  1. Soak red beans in water for at least 3 hours or overnight to soften beans.
  2. Rinse red beans, then put red beans, sugar, and tangerine peel into a soup pot. Add water until it reaches 2-3 inches above the beans.
  3. Boil the water, then turn the heat down to medium or low for 3-4 hours, or until the beans are fully soft.

Did you know? Small red beans, or adzuki beans, are commonly found in traditional Asian cuisines, and they are a good source of many nutrients. They contain folate, fiber, copper, manganese, protein, fiber, potassium, zinc, iron, vitamins, etc. Red beans can also be used to make chili or other delicious desserts.

Eight-Treasure Porridge 八寶粥

Eight Treasure Porridge

The Eight-Treasure Porridge is a traditional food in China to celebrate the Laba Festival in winter. It’s nutritious and easily digested. This famous porridge can contain almost any ingredients that you prefer, especially beans and grains. Traditionally, this porridge contains the following ingredients.

Ingredients:
Glutinous rice
Black rice
Peanuts
Dried red dates
Mung beans
Red beans
Dried longan
Lotus seeds
Sugar

Other suggestions: oatmeal, raisins, walnuts

Directions:

  1. Soak beans for 3 hours, and others ingredients for 1 hour.
  2. Add the soaked ingredients and sugar together in a slow cooker. Add water until 3-4 inches above the ingredients. Turn heat on high and cook for 6-8 hours.
  3. Enjoy the warm and nutritious porridge—it’s really good for breakfast!

Cucumber & Sliced Meat Soup 黃瓜肉片湯

Cucumber Pork Soup
Ingredients:
½ cucumber
5 oz. sliced lean pork
1 tsp. potato starch
½ tsp. chopped ginger
½ tsp. salt

Directions:

  1. Mix 1 tsp. starch and ½ tsp. cold water or soy sauce. Coat sliced pork with mixture.
  2. Boil water, then add cucumber slices and chopped ginger to pot.
  3. Bring to a boil and add sliced pork to the pot. Cook for 3 minutes or until pork is fully cooked (careful not to overcook the meat).
  4. Add salt. Enjoy!

Did you know? Starch contains essential nutrients such as carbohydrates and is usually made from starchy vegetables such as corn or potatoes. Starches will gelatinize when heated, causing the meat to become tender and moist. This cooking method is often used in stir fry dishes in Chinese cuisine.

Sweet Papaya and Pear Soup (sweet dessert) 木瓜雪梨湯

Papaya and Pear Soup

Ingredients:
1/2 ripe papaya
1 snow pear (or pear)
2 tsp. sugar

Directions:

  1. Peel and dice papaya and snow pear
  2. Add water, fruit, and sugar into a pot, and add water until it is 1 inch above the ingredients.
  3. Bring to a boil, then switch to low for 30 minutes (or slow cooker on high for 3-5 hours).

Did you know? Pear, in traditional Chinese medicine, can help nourish and soothe. This recipe is really good for a cold and dry winter. You can also replace the water with milk.

What international recipes have you tried and liked? What recipes would you like to see more of? Leave a comment below!

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