Thursday, July 2, 2015

Winter Melon Soup with Lotus Root and Tofu

     Savory Winter Melon Soup!
     Sometimes a very light, soothing soup is perfect for the moment.  There is something about the way that the flavor of winter melon becomes very savory tasting when simmered in chicken broth that is very special.  The flavors infuse and become one.
     One of the keys to making a good winter melon soup is to go very light on the seasoning.  The better tasting the chicken broth is, the less seasoning is needed.  Any extra ingredients that are added to winter mellon soup should have fairly mild flavors.  Strong tasting food items will overpower the delicate winter melon and chicken broth flavor balance.
     Winter Melon Soup with Lotus Root and Tofu: 
     This recipe yields 1 large bowl of soup.  (About 3 1/4 cups.)
     Traditional Chinese restaurants are not shy about serving big portions of soups or noodles in broth.  The same can be said about Vietnamese Pho portion sizes.  
     Just about the only place to find authentic large Chinese soup bowls or Pho Bowls is in an Asian food market. The big bowl in the photos above can hold 4 1/2 cups and the extra hard glazed ceramic is very thick.   
     Step 1:  Boil 3 cups of light chicken broth in a sauce pot over medium high heat.
     Add 1 1/2 cups of large bite size cube shaped winter melon pieces.  (3/4" cube)
     Add 5 or 6 thin slices of lotus root.
     Step 2:  Boil the soup for 3 minutes.
     Step 3:  Reduce the temperature to medium low heat.
     Add 1 small pinch of sea salt and white pepper.
     Simmer till the winter melon becomes a clear translucent color and it is tender.
     *After boiling and simmering, the volume of the soup should reduce to 3 1/4.
     Step 4:  Add 8 bite size cube shaped pieces of firm tofu.  (1/2" cube)
     Simmer for 1 minute.
     Step 5:  Pour the soup into a large soup bowl.
     Sprinkle a few cilantro leaves on the soup.
     Sprinkle little bit of thin bias sliced green onion on the soup.
     This winter melon soup is simple to make and it is healthy!

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