Thursday, September 28, 2006

A Chinese Soup

I decided to try this package of healthy soup ingredients from T&T the other day, there were several different ones, each with a different set of ingredients, giving a different effect based on the ingredients, and I made it finally. According to the package, this soup is designed to strengthen spleen and stomach. What you got in the package, was an amount of meat (2 lbs. maybe), which was pork shank with bones, a large carrot sliced in thick coins, a quantity (3 large pieces) of mountain gobo (burdock root), two honey dates, and about a half-cup of Job's Tears seeds (Chinese pearl barley). Throw it all in a pot, cover with water, bring to a boil, then simmer for two hours, and you get a delicious tasting soup. As easy as that. I removed most of the bones from the meat, there were a few left, I discovered, but it was quite tasty. The mountain gobo is a white starchy root that, similar to carrot, became kind of mushy after two hours of cooking and thickened the soup. The Job's Tears seeds, according to my research on the Internet, are used in Chinese medicine, the seeds strengthen the spleen and counteract "damp heat", and are used for edema, diarrhea, rheumatoid arthritis and difficult urination. They can also be roasted and used as a coffee substitute, or brewed into beer, and can be used as part of a macrobiotic diet. I found them okay, a little crunchy still, which I didn't expect after the long cooking time.

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