More Winter Melon Soup Ideas!
Periwinkles are a nice tasting small sea snail. The flavor is very clean and not muddy at all. Periwinkles add a light savory seafood flavor to Winter Melon Soup.
Vietnamese Perilla is in the mint family of plants. This herb has a complex basil flavor. Vietnamese cuisine makes use of a wide variety of fresh herbs. The herbs can be part of the recipes or they can be used as an integral garnish. Often a fresh herb garnish for soup is meant to be stirred into the soup at the table, to add a fresh crisp herb flavor.
Ginkgo Nuts have a nice delicate flavor of their own. Ginkgo Nuts are a strong antioxidant and they boost the immune system. Lemongrass is a classic choice for flavoring light savory broth soups and this herb compliments the flavor of Winter Melon. Put it all together and this is a very tasty healthy Winter Melon Soup!
Lemongrass Winter Melon Soup with Periwinkles, Ginkgo Nuts and Vietnamese Perilla:
This recipe yields 1 large bowl of soup! (About 2 3/4 cups)
Poached shelled periwinkles can be purchased at Asian food markets. Fresh live periwinkles in their shells are sometimes available too.
Step 1: Tie 1 shoot of fresh lemongrass into a simple knot.
Place the lemongrass knot in a small soup pot.
Add 2 3/4 cups of light chicken broth.
Place the pot over medium high heat.
Bring the broth to a gentle boil.
Step 2: Reduce the temperature to medium low heat.
Add 1/2 teaspoon of ginger paste.
Add sea salt and white pepper.
Simmer the broth for 10 minutes, so the lemongrass flavor infuses with the broth.
Step 3: Add 1 3/4 cups of winter melon that is cut into 1/2" cube shaped pieces.
Add 4 ounces of poached periwinkles that are sliced into bite size pieces.
Add 6 peeled fresh ginkgo nuts.
Step 4: Simmer the soup till the winter melon is tender and the volume of the soup is 2 3/4 cups to 3 cups. (The winter melon will be opaque at first, then it will be a translucent color when it is tender.)
Step 5: Remove the lemongrass knot.
Ladle the soup into a bowl.
Float a few very thin slices of onion on the surface of the soup.
Line the rim of the soup bowl with whole fresh Vietnamese Perilla Leaves.
This soup has a delicate flavor that brings on a smile!