Thursday, September 6, 2012

Pear soup for a blogger's soul


When I first started working from home, I used to get so wrapped up with my work that I would forget to eat. Then I would get so hungry and grab whatever junk I could find in my larder which most often is a packetful of excitotoxins like instant noodles. Evil stuff.

But I've learnt to take better care of myself now. So when I know I have a heavy schedule coming up, I make soup. As my mom always says, "even if you don't eat, you must drink a few spoonfuls of soup." Soup, to me, is nourishing and oh-so-yummy. And for a lazy "chef" like me who doesn't want to spend too much time dicing and slicing, making soup is cinch.

I made a potful of Pear in Snow Fungus soup today. Just slurped it for dinner and I should have enough to last me another 3 meals, at least, if I can resist gulping it all down.

I know the name 'snow fungus' is a turn off. Like some bad case of mold in the basement. But, it is actually quite a pretty coral looking thing. (Note to self: I must remember to take photos of ingredients) It's been used by the Chinese for more than 2,000 years and is believed to nourish the Qi and remove dryness and heat from the body, specially if you have a dry cough or chapped lips. Wonderful for hot summer days! (Or in my case, after a weekend of curry and sunshine). When paired with ingredients like pears or papayas, it turns into a flavoursome delight. Read on for the recipe.


WHAT YOU'LL NEED:
2 golden pears
A handful of snow fungus
1 yellow onion
Pork soup bones (400gm)
Water
Salt to taste

THE STEPS:
Soak the snow fungus in water to soften it. It will take 10 - 15 mins. Discard the water.
Peel and quarter the pears. Remove the core. (You can leave the skin on if the pears are organic. The skin will stop the flesh from disintegrating into the soup). 
Peel the onion and quarter it.
Clean the pork bones. (You can blanch it with a quick douse of hot water for a clearer soup. Discard water.)

I used an electronic double boiler. If you don't have one, you can use a normal stock pot.

Heat up enough water to cover the ingredients.
Put all the ingredients in.
Bring to boil and then turn the heat down low. Let it simmer, with the lid slightly opened, for 40 minutes.  
Add salt and serve piping hot.

Traditionally, soup goes best with some rice, meat and stir-fry veggies but that's way too much cooking for me. So I paired my soup with a large serving of salad (butterhead, tomatoes, cucumbers, blueberries, pumpkin seeds and chopped almonds drizzled with olive oil-lemon dressing, a pinch of sea salt to taste)

It's a strange combo but it works for me - a healthy salad and a nourishing soup. And all is well with my soul.


Let me know if you give this soup a try.

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