Monday, 3 May 2010

Chinese Apple Soup

Edna has been suffering from coughs for the past 5 days, and the poor dear has been miserable through the night, waking up to cough. Therefore, I was happy to find this Chinese Apple soup recipe, because apparently the soup is cooling and good for dealing with phlegms.

I found this recipe here, but I've modified it with another Apple soup recipe I found online sometime ago.

2 large Fuji apples (remove core, then cut into 8 pieces each)
1 onion, cut into quarters
200g soft pork bones
10g sweet almonds (南杏)
5g bitter almonds(北杏)
8 dried dates, with seeds removed
3 fig fruits (无花果)
1.5L water
Salt (to taste, but optional)

1. Blanch the pork bones over boiling water and set it.
2. Rinse the dates, figs and sweet and bitter almonds and set them aside.
3. Put water (I usually boil my water in an electric kettle to save using the gas) in a thermal cooking pot, with all the ingredients listed. Bring the water to boil for about 10 minutes.
4. Put the thermal pot into the outer pot and keep it there for at least 2 hours.
5. Add salt to taste. Serve.

The soup is refreshing to taste. Light and sweet with a sourish, salty tinge. I haven't tried this, but apparently you could half the number of apples and replace it with Chinese Pears (those yellow ones), or even replace the apples with pears if the pears are in season.

What makes this soup good for cough is the following:
(Source: The World of Nourishing and Fine Soups by Kenny Chen)
  • Sweet almonds (南杏) : It tastes sweet and is neutral in nature. It is non-toxic and relieves cough.
  • Bitter almonds (北杏): It carries a slight trace of toxins but heals cough and expels phlegm.
  • Fig fruits (无花果): It clears heat and phlegm, nourishes the lungs and aids digestion with its high fibre content.
I wrote the Chinese names down and went to the nearby Chinese Medicine shop and bought 50g of each of the above. It came to S$3 only. There was enough ingredients to make another batch of this soup, for the amount of figs; but there was still so much of the almonds for a few batches. =)

The next time I make my Chinese Watercress Soup, I'll add the almonds - especially if my little ones have the coughs. =)