Lotus Root Soup
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.
When I buy Lotus Root from my local supermarket, what I usually get is a few segments in a pack. As we don't need a lot of lotus root for this soup recipe, I used the other 2 segments of the lotus root to make a big platter of Sautéed Lotus Root for dinner just a few days back, I really CAN have lotus root everyday, there are so many delicious ways to cook it.
For this Lotus Root soup, you have an option of using either pork bones or chicken bones to brew it in. Pork spare ribs will give you a broth that is darker in colour and a deep meaty, almost smoky, flavour to the soup, while the chicken bones will produce a broth that is clearer and more refreshing to taste. As for the preparation of the lotus root itself, I prefer to slice it thinly, as I find that makes it easier to eat and I don't need to have it cook for a long time before it softens. If you want a crunch to the lotus root when you bite into it, then cut it into thicker slices (about 1/4-inch). One other ingredient you can add to this lotus root soup recipe is peanuts - just a handful of raw peanuts with the skin removed and rinsed clean, thrown into the pot of soup half an hour before you turn the fire off.
I cannot reiterate enough the health benefits of Lotus Roots - it improves blood circulation in the body, it contains an element that regulates stress levels, effectively reducing headaches and irritability, it aids in digestion, contains loads of Vitamin C and iron, and is packed with dietary fibre. All these benefits, together with the benefits found in red dates (the Asian "superfood", King of Nuts 白果之王) - also packed with Vitamin C, plus Vitamins B1 and B2, protein, calcium, phosphorus, iron and magnesium, make for a really healthy soup that you definitely should try soon if you haven't already. If you're ready for more Lotus Root recipes, check out my Sautéed Lotus Root, Healthy Lotus Root Chips, and Claypot Chcken Rice with Lotus Roots recipes here on Kitchen Missus. Now onward to the recipe for Lotus Root Soup!