As Christmas and the New Year approaches, we feel the chilly weather even here in (usually) sunny Singapore. Recently, I’ve been cooking a lot of soups and stews to warm everyone up a little – chicken and beef stew, simple Miso soup, Korean Kimchi soup, Cantonese-style double-boiled soups etc. Today, I whipped up a nutritious and super simple mixed vegetable and chicken pasta soup for lunch and the kids loved it so much they asked for seconds. Mummy Achievement Attained!
Being half-cantonese, I love my boiled soups. Now that I have children of my own, I make it a point to brew one of the many nutritious cantonese-style soups that I have learned from my mother at least once a week. This lotus root soup is a personal favourite of mine, as I just really love cooking with lotus root and also I enjoy dipping the cooked lotus root, with all its essences from the red dates, dried oysters and chicken bones or pork spare ribs, into a saucer of chopped chilli and dark soy sauce – it’s like an entirely separate dish from the soup, I absolutely love love love it.
Duck – delicious to eat, but tricky to cook. The meat is a lot tougher than chicken and requires a lot more time to soften, BUT if you overcook it, it will dry-out and become chewy. So the best way to cook duck and make it delicious at home is by boiling it in a soup or a gravy (like the Nyonya Duck Sioh I shared previously on Kitchen Missus). This Salted Vegetable and Duck Soup is a classic Hokkien dish, and commonly cooked in kitchens all over Singapore and Malaysia. Each household has their own special recipe, but it all revolves around the very basic ingredients of the duck and salted vegetables, the salted vegetables being preserved mustard greens. This is the recipe that my mother taught me, and it is straightforward, easy to make and extremely tasty!
3 months ago, I visited the dentist for the first time in 5 years to have my wisdom teeth removed. It was a terrifying experience and the pain felt was truly worse than childbirth, but I am glad I got it over and done with. The downside to having surgery done in the mouth cavity is the ingestion of food, the rule of thumb is to go on a liquid diet for at least 3 days, and according to your personal comfort level, you can eat solids after that initial 3 days or longer. The only 2 plus points to my wisdom teeth removal process is 1) I get to take some time off being a mother (the husband was in charge for those few days) and 2) the painkillers (awesome! I may be a junkie at heart). For the first meal after my surgery, my husband made me this tasty broccoli soup that tasted delicious even when chilled and despite the pain I felt. I regard this as my comfort food now, and everytime I taste this soup, I am reminded of those bittersweet post wisdom-teeth removal days.
Here is a quick and short recipe for a soup that will take some time to cook. It is packed with nutrition, tastes wonderful and requires minimal prep time. It is almost unbelievable how the ratio of ‘effort put in : benefits received’ is so uneven, but who cares? Just enjoy this fragrant and healthy double-boiled apple soup!
What’s more comforting than a piping hot bowl of soup? Especially when you have to wait at least an hour and a half for it. My mum is Cantonese and the Cantonese are known for their soups that are jam-packed with healing properties. Whether you’re feeling fatigued, or too ‘heaty’ (symptoms of this include mouth ulcers, dry lips, constipation, to name a few) or your blood pressure is on the low side, there is a soup to treat every malady. In fact, I am almost ashamed to say that my sharing this one recipe for Cantonese style soup is merely the very very very tiny top of the iceberg. But I am confident I will be able to share many more in the future.