Lotus Root Soup
I love lotus root because it is nutritious, cooling and crunchy. One of my favourite way of cooking lotus root is for Chinese soup. Usually, lotus root soup is cooked with pork ribs, but sometimes I also enjoy cooking it with chicken and huai shan (淮山). The latter lends a mild, supporting yet distinctive sweet taste to the soup. For convenience, I used dried huai shan which appears chalk like and has a bright white colour, and is said to benefit the spleen, lungs and kidneys. If you have access to fresh huai shan, it is even better. In the same way you prepare lotus root, simply peel the skin using a vegetable peeler before cutting the fresh huan shan and lotus root to desired slices.
– 2 sections or about 400g lotus root (莲藕), scrubbed, peeled and sliced thinly
– 1/2 chicken, cut to smaller pieces and skin removed
– 4 pieces dried huai shan aka Chinese wild yam (淮山)
– 1 carrot, peeled and cut to chunks
– 10 pitted red dates
– 1 tsp wolfberries, soaked in water until puffy
– 1.5 liters water
– Sea salt
1. Blanch chicken pieces by simmering for about 5 minutes, to remove the dirty bits so that you have clear soup later. Rinse blanched chicken pieces and set aside.
2. Place lotus root slices, blanched chicken, huan shan, carrot, red dates and water in a pot and bring to a boil. Thereafter, reduce the heat and simmer the soup on for at least 40 minutes.
3. 10 minutes before you finish cooking, add soaked wolfberries. Season with sea salt if required. For best results, keep warm in a thermal pot for at least 2 hours before serving.