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 introductions you find on this site. Chinese Soup Pot is a family blog about 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, professional soup making techniques and tools, explain and familiarize you with the common Asian ingredients often used in Chinese soup recipes. In doing so, 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.
Why is Soup Important?
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 (and other great dishes). 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 Chinese soup is important is for a practical reason: health benefits. Traditional Chinese soups are gentle tonics made from fresh vegetables, lean meats or fish, flavored only by the natural ingredients in the soup. One distinguishing point about traditional Chinese soups is that oil, cream, and butter are never used – making the soups low fat, low calorie, and low sodium. Many Chinese soups also include herbal ingredients to enhance the health-benefiting functions of the soup – an age old practice used for hundreds of generations originating back to China’s Pearl River Delta in Canton. 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 properties of soups. These properties and functions can range from detoxification, nourishment to major body organs, reduction of blood sugar and blood pressure, replenishment of the Qi, or release of excess element(s) that throw the body off its internal yin-yang balance which results in outward bodily symptoms like sore throat, coughing, or dryness.
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 ingredients into the soup, which then 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 Chinese soups a try, and make it into a regular tradition in your home.
Who is Sharon?
I am a working woman and a wife to a loving husband living in the San Francisco Bay Area. In addition to making and enjoying healthy delicious soups, I am also 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. And the big boost that really 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 really started to become cognizant of what I ate.
After graduating from high school, I went on to study Food Science, (and Business IT management). This is where I learned more about nutrition, the chemical composition of food, and food processing. These subjects are so fascinating to me and they are still topics that I am deeply passionate about.
In spite of my education, I should also make clear here 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 your pregnant. Some information on this site have not been evaluated by the US FDA (Food and Drug Administration). The recipes and information I share on this site are what I’ve learned over the years through my family, from the thousands of generations before me who practiced the Chinese soup tradition, formal education, personal research, and self enrichment through books, seminars, and online 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.