Recipe: Watercress Soup, with Pork (西洋菜湯 )
This dish looks difficult, but I can assure you it’s not. This “cooling” watercress soup is rich in vitamins and fiber. But be careful when taken with chestnuts as it may cause allergic reaction.
I usually cook this dish when I see watercress leaves looking fresh in the market or when my toddler, husband or I am in a coughing fit.
Watercress is used as natural medicine for headache, eczema, cough and flu. It has cooling properties and helps to dissolve phlegm. It helps to lubricate the lungs and skin and detoxify the kidneys.The longer you boil the soup, the more its cooling properties will increase, making it more of a tonic and nutritional soup. (Nutritional Information from theburningkitchen.com)
Prep and Cook Time (Serves 2)
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 1.5 hours
- 1 bunch of fresh watercress: If you have the time, you can pluck the leaves. I usually guesstimate and cut in the middle of the hard stems to separate the leaves section from the stems. (Both leaves and hard stems can be used in the cooking, although you don’t have to eat the stems.)
- 5-6 dried scallops (Optional)
- 8-10 dried red dates (De-seeded): Some people don’t buy de-seeded dates because of doubtful hygiene conditions during the de-seeding process.
- 1 carrot: Peeled and cut into chunks.
- Pork Ribs or Lean Pork: You can omit this ingredient if you want to cook a vegetarian soup. I usually put only a bit of meat for my toddler. If you want to cook for adults, you can use approximately 300 to 400g of meat.
- Bring a pot of water (~1 litre) to boil.
- Add in the pork, red dates, scallop (optional), carrot and watercress stems. Boil on high fire, uncovered, for 10 minutes.
- After 10 minutes, lower fire to a simmer and cover pot with lid. Simmer for 30 minutes.
- Add in the watercress leaves. Cover and simmer for another 30 minutes.
- Turn off the fire and let the soup ‘rest’ for 10 minutes to make the soup tastier. (If you want, you can add salt. I omit it for my toddler).
- Serve warm with rice.
Recipe inspired by The Soup Queen