If you overindulged during Chinese New Year festivities this year, or if you are just looking to reset and detoxify your body, this Winter Melon Soup is the perfect thing to eat! It is filled with vegetables, nutrient-rich pork bone broth, and a few really good Chinese medicines.
Pork Broth and Pork Ribs
There are many versions a Chinese soups out there, but I love this Winter Melon Soup the most! For the base of the recipe, I use pork bone broth as well as pork bone ribs to add a little bit more protein.
Pork bone broth has become a bit of a rage these days. If you look into its nutritional benefits you can definitely see why people are starting to drink this broth more and more. Not only is it full of nutrients such as calcium, iron, and magnesium, it is also rich in collagen and may help protect or ease tension or pain in your joints.
You get a little bit more of these benefits from adding the pork ribs as well. The beauty of this is that you don’t need to use the best cut of ribs that you find at the supermarket! Rather, you can use the end scraps of the ribs that have cartilage pieces in them. Not only are these ribs nutritious, they’re also full of flavour and are cheap since they are the end scraps. And don’t worry, once you cook these ribs in the soup for a few hours the meat just falls off the bone!
To add additional health benefits to the soup, I add winter melon, lotus root, and ginger. Winter melon is delicious and almost turns translucent when you cook it. On the other hand, lotus root is quite dense raw and turns nice and soft when you cook it. Both of these vegetables are full of nutrients and make a great addition to the soup.
While winter melon and lotus root are not commonly found in standard grocery stores, try going to your Asian grocer to get these fresh during the winter time. Ginger on the other hand can be found in just about any grocery store these days. Just make sure that the root is hard, has a smooth tan skin, and there is no moisture on it.
Two other forms of Chinese medicine that I use in the soup are Chinese red dates and dried goji berries. Again, these may be difficult to find at your standard supermarket to try looking for these at your Asian grocery store. Both the red dates and dried goji berries have numerous health benefits, and adding them to the soup also adds a touch of sweetness to the broth, which compliments the pork and other ingredients nicely.
There are many more Chinese medicines out there that I commonly use in my cooking, so perhaps I’ll write a separate blog post going into more detail on those! Comment down below if you would like to see this on the blog!
Cooking the Soup
With just about any soup, all you really have to do is add the ingredients to the pot and simmer on the stove for a few hours. However, it is a good practice to pre-boil the pork bones to remove any impurities so that your soup doesn’t become cloudy. Read the recipe down below for the full instructions on how to prepare the pork bones.
I really hope that you enjoy this recipe and let me know if you’re going to make it this winter in the comments box below!
Recipe: Winter Melon Soup
If you’re looking to help detoxify and re-start your body, look no further than this Winter Melon Soup! It’s filled with healthy winter melon, lotus root, and various Chinese medicines including Chinese red dates and goji berries.
Servings: 18 pieces
Prep Time: 10 minutes | Cook Time: 20 minutes | Total Time: 30 minutes
- 10 cups water
- 1 pound pork bone ribs
- 12 cups pork bone broth
- 6 cups winter melon, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1 1-cm slice ginger root, peeled
- 1 lotus root, peeled and sliced into 1-cm pieces
- 3 scallions, finely chopped, white and green parts separated
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 4 Chinese dried red dates
- 1/4 cup dried goji berries
Place the water in a large pot and bring it to a rolling boil. Reduce the heat to medium, add the pork bones, and cook for 10 minutes.
Drain the pork ribs and water into a colander, discarding the water. Wash the pot to remove any impurities and re-fill it with the pork bone broth. Place it on the stove and heat over medium heat.
While the pork bone broth is heating up, rinse the pork ribs under cold water. Rub each one in between your hands to wash away any impurities. Once all the bones are rinsed, add them to the pot.
Next, add the winter melon cubes, ginger, sliced lotus root, the white ends of the scallions, soy sauce, Chinese dates and goji berries. Stir everything together.
Cook the soup over medium heat for at least 2 hours so that all the flavours can come together.
To serve, scoop the soup into a bowl and garnish with the green ends of the scallions.