Soup Series: Homemade Congee

Looks like the dreary rainy weather has finally set in here in Vancouver. Up to today, I have not seen the sun in two weeks, which is fairly typical for the southern coast of BC during this time of year, but caught a glimpse of it today for about three hours, before it got dark again.

I really love the rain, I jut hate when it rains incessantly for months on end. Plus it is dark, cold and just not welcoming at all. But being the eternal optimist that I am, I am choosing to make the bet of this situation and look at the silver lining of these rain clouds. How, you ask? Through indulging in the most warming and comforting meal there is: SOUP!

The beginnings of vegetable broth <3

I could honestly eat soup every day for the rest of my life and never get bored of it. There are so many different variations of soup including bisques, chowder, broths, stews, chili, and so on. Plus, there are so many ingredients that can be used in making them! During this time of year however, I really aim to make hearty soups that will keep you well-nourished, warm and full for a long time (you need those veggies more in winter so you do not get sick!). I use up loads of local veggies, dried beans and lentils, pasta, and meats to my hearts content, but really I can make do with whatever is on hand.

So in an effort not only to warm myself up in these cold, dark and rainy months, I would like to warm you up as well through my Soup Series (#SoupSeries…let’s get this trending!) where I will be sharing my wonderful soup recipes with you until the end of the month. There may also be some “soup accompaniments” that may show up in this series too- so keep your eyes on the blog!

To kick off this #SoupSeries, I give you my recipe for Homemade Congee. Congee is a traditional Chinese porridge-style kind of soup that many people eat when they are feeling under the weather. This is a real stick-to-your-ribs kind of soup (even though there is just one cup of rice in this whole recipe!) and just a few simple ingredients really go a long way.

Of course, there are many variations on this traditional soup, but in my recipe, I use sliced pork, Napa cabbage, wood-ear mushrooms, and almonds instead of peanuts. You can easily switch out the pork for chicken or beef, and the wood-ear mushrooms for creminis or button mushrooms, and the cabbage for whatever leafy green you want (I’ve made this with broccoli florets before and it turned out to be BOMB!). As long as you keep the rice to water ratio the same and garnish with chopped scallions, cilantro, and lots of sesame oil, you are good to go!

Clearly, I love my sesame oil! 😉 

So if you need a bit of a warm-up these days, go ahead and follow my #SoupSeries for some great recipes over the next few weeks! Let me know what your favourite kind of soup is in the comments below!

For the full recipe for my Homemade Congee, click here!

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