What is the Chinese Soup Pot?
Hello and welcome! My name is Sharon Lee and I am the author and photographer behind the soup recipes, cooking tips, and ingredient guides you find on this site. Chinese Soup Pot is a website project on Chinese soups, with an aim to share, preserve, and contribute to the art and culture of Chinese soup making. Here is where I impart my family’s traditional and conventional soup recipes, soup making techniques and soup cooking tools. Here is also where I introduce you to a variety of Chinese herbs and Asian food ingredients often used in Chinese soup recipes. Through this site, I hope to inspire you to make a delicious soup today, and to offer you an alternative way to achieve optimal health for you and your family.
Having been born in Hong Kong to a Cantonese family and then moved to the United States at a young age, one distinct Chinese food culture my parents instilled in me is the tradition of soups. Like a comforting bowl of Chicken Soup that Americans love, a bowl of nourishing Chinese soup conjures up the same kind of comfort, even nostalgia from childhood times with the family and mom’s homemade soups. Soup is a deep-rooted and endeared Chinese food tradition, especially for the Cantonese who are famous for their “slow-fire” soups. So much so that while my husband and I were still dating, his father used to tell him, “Son, if you get invited to your girlfriend’s home for family soup, then you have been accepted into their family.”
Another reason why I love Chinese soup is for their health benefits. Traditional Chinese soups are gentle tonics made from fresh vegetables, lean meats or fish, and flavored only by natural ingredients. One distinguishing point about traditional Chinese soups is that oil, cream, and butter are never used – making the soups naturally low fat, low calorie, and low sodium. Many Chinese soups also include herbal ingredients that enhance the health-benefiting function of the soup. The use of specific herbs in soups is an age old practice, used by thousands of generations. Many of the recipes can also be traced back to China’s Pearl River Delta in Canton, where slow fire soups is a practice that the Cantonese call “Chinese Food Therapy (食療)”. The Cantonese are known to place great importance to the health-giving functions of soups. The benefits can range from detoxification, nourishment to major body organs, reduction of blood sugar and blood pressure, replenishment of the Qi, and release of excess element(s) that throw the body off its internal yin-yang balance. When the internal body is off balance, outward bodily symptoms like sore throat, coughing, or dryness can appear.
From a Chinese medicine perspective, food is not only something to fill one’s stomach to fight hunger. Food is also a nourishing agent with preventative and curative powers to fight off the onset of illnesses when used properly. And the way to release these beneficial powers is to brew the food and herbs slowly for 2 – 3 hours. This releases the essence and nutrients of the foods into the soup, which allows for the human body to easily absorb the nutrients. This is why I believe Chinese soup is an excellent and most natural way to strengthen one’s immune system and overall health. Chinese soups are elixirs for graceful aging as well. I hope you will give my Chinese soup recipes a try, and make cooking Chinese soup a regular tradition in your home.
Who is Sharon?
I am wife to a loving husband living and working in the San Francisco Bay Area. In addition to making healthy delicious soups, I am passionate about eating healthy in general. This passion (or more appropriately, my quest) for good health brewed in me at a young age through my parents’ teachings about Chinese soups and healthy eating. The big push that got this passion kicked off was when I joined the cross country team in high school. My running coach used to tell us that as athletes, we need to watch what we eat. Our bodies need to be healthy so we can be strong and perform well on the track field. It was then that I became even more cognizant of what I ate.
After graduating from high school, I went on to study Food Science. This is where I learned about nutrition, chemical compositions of food, and food processing techniques. Combined with this educational background is my personal passion in learning and practicing Chinese Food Therapy. And I am so excited to share my Chinese soup passion here with you!
In spite of my education, I should make clear that I am not a doctor, dietician, or nutritionist. You should always seek the advice of a doctor for matters concerning your health, especially if you are pregnant. Not all information about the health benefits of foods are evaluated by the US FDA. The information I share on this site is an accumulation of teachings from my family, from the many generations before me who practiced the Chinese soup tradition, from formal education, personal research, and self enrichment through books, seminars, and other resources.
What Should You Do from Here?
1. Subscribe to the Chinese Soup Pot for automatic updates via RSS. Or, bookmark this site and return often for new recipes and information.
2. Join the soup fan community by Liking the Chinese Soup Pot at: http://www.facebook.com/ChineseSoupPot
3. Pay attention to your health and wellness. Make a decision to make a Chinese soup today for yourself and your family. You can always start with an easy soup recipe and advance up as you gain experience.
4. Get your friends and family to learn more about Chinese soups by emailing them your favorite soup recipe. Simply click on the image below a soup recipe title to share that post. Get them to join you in making different soups regularly. You and your friends can motivate and bounce ideas off of each other.
5. Submit your ideas and thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org if there is something you want to see written about. No guarantee that every suggested idea will get published. I may blend similar suggestions and write articles that have the most demand. But I certainly would like to hear what your ideas are.
It was good to meet you in person the other night. Thank you for putting this wonderfully informative website together driven by your personal vision of preserving the art of making good, ono (as we say in Hawai’i), Chinese soups and more!
Thank you for your comment and support! I am very happy to hear that you find this website so informative. To me, Chinese soup making is an art form within our culture that I cherish. It is important to preserve this tradition, despite our modern day fast-paced living and fast food conveniences. Making good soup gives us a chance to take our mind off of the daily stress and create something decidedly nourishing for our health.
I really enjoyed meeting you as well and hearing your stories about Hawaiian life!
Your site is full of great recipes and wonderful insight. Your instructions are very easy to follow and the photos are a great help! My girlfriend loves to cook and I love to drink Chinese soup so we both love your site very much! Your site is probably the best resource for Chinese soup making on the internet. Please keep up the good work!
I love this site. It’s full of great information on the Chinese ingredients and soup recipes. I plan on trying out the recipes, they look so yummy. The photos are great. Keep up the excellent work. Thank you.
Thank you very much Archie and Sally for your support and encouragement! It is positive feedback like yours that make all the time spent in this project worth while and satisfying. Please help spread the word with your friends and family. I invite you to come back regularly for new updates.
I’m glad I came cross your website today. It’s full of useful info. Thanks for sharing!
You have an amazing array of soup recipes here, Sharon Lee! Growing up in Korea, soups-cold and hot were major part of my meals. Your site is beautiful and I am looking forward to getting to know you and your wonderful soup recipes!
Hi Sharon, thank you again or visiting my blog! Finding yours now is like Christmas present! I love Asian food, especially Chinese and Japanese, but the one you get over here is usually very oily and salty and often loaded with MSG. I didn’t know this was so far away from traditional Chinese cooking! I cook at home a lot, and most of my dishes contain Asian flavors like ginger and five spices (a far higher percentage than it can be told from my recipe page because I tend to eat my favorite things over and over again :P), and I love vegetables and lean meat and seafood. Diving into your blog now!
O signed up for ypur emails! Just found your site and yes, i cant wait to try some of your soups! I signed up for your facebook page too! Also will follow on twitter! Please tweetthe newest recipes to be Rt by me! I have I BS and diverticulitis so i am looking for a healthy soup to heal this! Thank you for your work! Its very much needed!
I always visit your blog when I need some inspiration. Actually, I am participating in cooking challenge where I have been given 7 ingredients and have to prepare an appetizer, main dish and dessert. You know what I am thinking…”tongsui”- dessert soup. I hope this particular audience is ready for this type of food preparation. What kind of dessert soup can I make with nectarines? Hmmm… Take Care, BAM
Hi Sharon! I gave you a Liebster Blog award! Please look at my blog to take it.
Hi Sharon, thank you for the wonderful, informative website in chinese soup. I missed my mom homemade chinese soup too. I now have my own family and my wife is not chinese and live far from my mom so your site will be a great resource to us.
my Husbands grandfather was from china, but moved to the Bahamas in his twentys. my husband and son went to china about five years ago to see where his grandfather had grown up etc. I myself spent two years in hong kong when I was ten. Anyway for years since their trip they have been talking about the soup they ate in almost every restaurant they went to, how delious it was…it seems it was a simple broth soup with veggies some times pork…but it seemed to be the traditional soup served because it came with every meal! They loved it can you PLEASE help me recreate this for them!
Any insight or help in this would be so appreciated, just found an awesome Chinese market near us so I am able to but most ingredients I hope.
Thank you very much for your visit and comment! I would love to help you recreate some of the Chinese soups for your family. I don’t blame your son and husband for talking about these soups for years. Authentic Chinese soups can be really delicious, nourishing, and comforting! The Radish Daikon and Carrot Pork Soup, and Mustard Green with Straw Mushroom and Tofu Soup are two simple brothy soups that immediately came to mind when I saw your note. There are many others that I will be making and sharing here in the future. So I invite you to come back periodically for my soup recipes. And if you have pictures of the soups that your family reminisces, feel free to email them to me at the address I’ll send you. I’ll see if I recognize them and can share the recipe here.
Thank you again for dropping by and leaving a note!
Sharon | Chinese Soup Pot
@ Lawrence –
I thank you too for visiting and for leaving such a lovely feedback! It means a lot to me to see that my site is a great resource to you. Your feedback encourages me to continue to work hard at sharing more recipes here. So thank you for your support! I invite you to join me on facebook for additional recipe updates in the future!
Sharon | Chinese Soup Pot
I hope this note finds you well. I have not heard from you in awhile so just checking in.
Take care, BAM
Thank you so much for your caring note! I am so lucky to have loving people like you around me! I will write you more at your email. I hope everything is going well for you, and have a great day! =)
Thanks for your amazing blog. I love Chinese soups, but have been having trouble finding them in English, and now not only have I found a big range of Chinese soup recipes, but also an explanation of the different Chinese herbs that go into it too! Thank you and please keep posting!
Thank you so much for your visit and for your lovely note! It makes me so happy to know that people appreciate what I do here. Your feedback is a wonderful encouragement to me. Thank you! I invite you to come back periodically for updates and share this site with your friends. I will also try to share more recipes and posts in the weeks to come.
Sharon | Chinese Soup Pot
I am so happy and thankful to have found your website. I do not read Chinese and hence had trouble finding Chinese soup recipies. It is so wonderful how you have the passion for Chinese soup and you are willing to share your recipes. Thank you so much for posting your recipes as I enjoy reading them very much.
Thank you very much for your kind comment! I am so glad too that you stumbled across my site and enjoy reading my family’s soup recipes. It makes me so happy to see that readers enjoy what I share here. If you ever get a chance to try out one of my recipes, I would love to hear all about it!
I invite you to stop by here again in the future!
Sharon | Chinese Soup Pot
Thank you for posting the common ingredients on your site. It’s great to get the correlation of the Chinese names of the ingredients with the English names. It is so wonderful that you do the research and publish the use and background of these ingredients. The understanding and use of the ingredients is becoming a lost art as we become more westernized. I’m glad you are putting this information together. You should consider compiling this info into a book, it would be a great reference book. Love your recipes. It really inspires me to make more soup. Thank you.
Thank you for returning to my site and for your lovely note! I am extremely happy to know that you are seeing the kind of information that you want to see. I will definitely continue to keep up with my work on this site, as it is my goal to inspire more people to embrace the old tradition of soup making art; no matter how westernized or modernized we are from the generations before us.
About the book suggestion….that would be a fun project to work on. Perhaps it is something for the future. Thank you for the thought!
Sharon | Chinese Soup Pot
I’m very thrilled to chance upon your site today as I love brewing Chinese soups and making ‘tong shui’ for my family. I am married to a Cantonese and his mother cooks Chinese soups at least twice a week. Due to work commitments, I have never had the time to learn from her until recently when I resigned from my job and set up my own business. It’s not easy to learn from my mother in law as she usually estimates the amount of ingredients to use but I’m truly glad that she’s willing to pass on her recipes to me. With your site, I can now impress my family with Chinese soups that they might never have tasted before. Fortunately for me, I have no problems getting all these Chinese herebs in Singapore! Thank you very much for sharing your recipes so generously!
Thank you very much for leaving a note with your story and connection to Chinese soups! I am so glad that you have time to make soups now and that your mother in law is sharing her recipes. I am sure your husband and family are thrilled to drink your soups – whether they are ones that they showed you how to make, or ones that you find here on my site!
Thank you again for your comment and positive feedback! Have a great time making healthy and delicious soups at home!
Sharon | Chinese Soup Pot
Thanks for the useful information! I had dreamed about to write/record about the Chinese soup recipe for my kids, nieces, nephews, friends. I may just refer them to read your blog. Thanks!
You have an amazing website, thank you!!
Thank you so much for this website! I’m so glad I found this because I was searching YouTube and google for Chinese soups and had to resort to googling in Chinese for soup recipes and the types of herbal ingredients.. Ha. It’s really tough trying to understand. Im Chinese but I’m from Singapore and I have not read or written Chinese for a really long time. So really glad somehow I managed to find your site! I love Chinese soup, it’s very homely to me and I would really love to learn more about how to make more nutritious meals, as opposed to the same old pasta, bakes, simple stir-frys etc.. Think my mum would be really thrilled if I could surprise her with a really good authentic soup. She would love it! So thank you in advance for sharing all this information on your site! I would be definitely be subscribing
Side note: my Mandarin may be quite horrendous now but I think Chinese food is still one of the greatest foods on earth..