Watercress Soup

There are times that I’ve had a string of unhealthy meals filled with fried and salty foods, and I’d be left feeling bloated and gross. Some people in that situation would turn to juice cleanses, but I personally believe in a different kind of detox, something a little less extreme and way more comforting: watercress soup 西洋菜汤.

Health Benefits of Watercress Soup

If you’ve been following along so far, you’d know that my mother-in-law lives in Fresno and has a beautiful backyard garden where she grows watercress, among many other vegetables. In Chinese culture, people believe that watercress is a “凉” vegetable, which means that it’s a vegetable that can aid in getting rid of toxins in your body. Watercress is a “superfood” vegetable that is packed with a lot of nutrients, including vitamin K, which prevents blood clotting and promotes healthy bones. Eating watercress is also known to prevent chronic diseases such as cancer, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. The pork bones in this recipe are chock-full of collagen and can improve with joint health. 

Availability of Watercress

Watercress soup is a seasonal soup since watercress isn’t available year-round. It is harvested in spring so it can be enjoyed from April to November. So make sure to try this recipe when you can! It’s super easy to make, nutritious, and delicious. It’s also considered a “quick boil” soup because it takes only about 1 ½ hours to boil instead of the usual 3-hour soup, which makes it perfect for those lazy days! I hope you enjoy this recipe with your loved ones and you’re having a lovely fall!

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch of watercress
  • 3.8 liters of water
  • 1 pound lean pork, diced into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 dried figs (optional)
  • 2 candied dried sweet dates (蜜枣)
  • 1 tbsp south almond
  • 1 tbsp north almond

Optional 

  • 3 sea cucumbers, diced into ½ inch increments 
  • 1 lb pork bones

Notes

At a chinese supermarket, you can find dried figs, dried sweet dates, north and south almond in packages in the dried foods aisle. You can also find fresh watercress in the vegetable section, but it is seasonal so it’s not always available. 

Preparation

Parboiling pork and bones – To clean meat and bones of impurities, you must parboil it by boiling it for a few minutes to rid it of scum. 

Cleaning the watercress – To clean, fill a bowl with water and soak watercress, making sure to push the watercress down to rinse out bugs and dirt. Drain dirty water and repeat the process 2-3 times. 

Instructions

  1. Parboil lean pork (and optionally, pork bone) by filling a pot with enough cold water to cover the pork. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and boil for 2 mins. Rinse pork of impurities under cold water. 
  2. In a large stockpot, bring 3.8 liters of water to boil on high heat. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium, and add in lean pork, pork bones, north almond, south almond, dried figs, and dried dates. 
  3. Boil for 1 hour, covered.
  4. After 1 hour, add watercress (and optionally, sea cucumbers) in for half an hour to boil. 
  5. After 1 ½ hours of boiling, turn off the stove, season soup to taste, and serve.
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Watercress Soup

watercress soup

Watercress soup is a seasonal soup since watercress isn’t available year-round. This soup is a delicious hearty vegetable soup that can detoxify your toxins and give your body a nice cleanse.

  • Author: christine gong
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 1/2 hour
  • Total Time: 44 minute
  • Yield: 45 1x
  • Category: soup
  • Method: boil
  • Cuisine: chinese

Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 bunch of watercress
  • 3.8 liters of water

  • 1 lb lean pork

  • 2 dried figs (optional)

  • 2 candied dried sweet dates (蜜枣)

  • 1 tbsp south almond

  • 1 tbsp north almond

  • 3 sea cucumbers, diced into ½ inch increments (optional)

  • 1 lb pork bones(optional)

Instructions

Notes

  • At a chinese supermarket, you can find dried figs, dried sweet dates, north and south almond in packages in the dried foods aisle. You can also find fresh watercress in the vegetable section, but it is seasonal so it’s not always available.
  • Parboiling pork and bones – To clean meat and bones of impurities, you must parboil it by boiling it for a few minutes to rid it of scum.

  • Cleaning the watercress – To clean, fill a bowl with water and soak watercress, making sure to push the watercress down to rinse out bugs and dirt. Drain dirty water and repeat the process 2-3 times.

Keywords: watercress soup

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