Weekends always go by faster than you can imagine. We need to charge up for the beginning of next week’s battle. Since I have finished review, I would go for a more natural way.)
Traditional Chinese soup is very nutritious and thin in texture. I always feel more comforting and satisfied after having a bowl of soup and don’t feel like my stomach dragged down by heavy food. Plus, it is so easy to make — the pot made the most of the efforts, not me!
Material: a small Cornish hen, 4 or 5 dried ginseng roots, dried red dates, dried Goji berries, dried, lotus seeds, dried shiitake mushrooms, a small apple (optional), dried chestnuts (optional) and 1/4 cup of sweet rice (optional; added to make the soup a bit thicker).
Tip: A small apple will give the soup more flavor and covers up the ginseng smell a little bit. I personally like ginseng smell but kids can’t take it too much.
1. Clean the chicken and rinse all the dry materials with water. Chop the small apple into pieces.
2. Put everything into a pot except the red dates (Tip: put red dates too early will give soup subtle sour taste). Put plenty of water (at least 2 inch above the food) to cover the materials. Put the heat on.
Pot choices: clay pot is ideal and make the soup taste the best but require good skills on controlling the heat: high heat to boil and then reduce to low heat for 3 hours. I use an electronic pot called “instant pot” which is a multifunction pot with options “soup/congee/stew/grains/steam/slow cook”. An ordinary soup pot will do the same, you just need to pay attention to and check constantly with the heat. A slow-cooker is also convenient in the sense that you don’t have to watch all the time.
3. Put red dates in the soup 15 minutes when the soup is ready before you plan to turn off the heat. For the instant pot I use, I need to wait it cool a bit and let the steam out to reduce the pressure inside in order to open the lid safely. Then transfer the soup into another pot, put the red dates in, cook another 15 minutes. Salt to taste before serving.