A Bowl of Warmth

It’s still pretty cold in some parts of the world even though I can rightly say it’s bloody hot in many other parts; Singapore for one. Here’s where I take the opportunity to bring up the goodness of what food can do for one. Me, food …. no surprises here.

Soup, a nice warm bowl of homemade goodness will definitely warm one up from the inside and set it all nicely. I happened to make a pot of soup yesterday and here it is.

Its really simple, and takes little time. Here’s the list of ingredients I used, listed here for my future reference in case I get lobotomized.

1. Adequate amount of fresh pork bones, usually there will be a small amount of meat. Lean cuts of other pork may be added, however, meat is not the highlight of this soup.

2. Two segments of fresh lotus root.

3. A handful of red beans.

The bones need some preparation. Simply set them in a pot of boiling water and let it remain so for about five minutes. Remove the bones and throw out the water. I need to emphasize that the water has to be already boiling before you place the bones into the pot.

The red beans need to be briskly rinsed under running water. Easily accomplished by putting them onto a sieve and rinse them in a bowl of water or under a slow running tap.

The lotus roots should already be rather clean when you purchase them. Make sure you have gotten rid of all mud from the surface. This might be easier to achieve using a broad toothbrush or a sponge. Then simply skin it and slice away.

Get about two liters of water boiling. Put in the bones and the beans. The bones are the ‘foundation’ to this soup. Common ingredients used as the base of any good broth are pork bones, ribs, chicken bones, prawn/shrimp heads. The beans here impart a sweetness to the soup without the need to use sugar. They also give the soup a consistency which improves its palatability.

Wait for the water to start boiling again and finally the lotus root goes in. Set it to boil briskly for the next 10 minutes before reducing it to medium heat for another 15 minutes. Thereafter, a slow boil at low heat for another 30 minutes will allow the lotus roots to cook nicely and attain that nice chewy bite. Once it is simmering and all the boiling is done, some salt may be added to taste. Not much is really needed.

And there you have it, a nice bowl of warmth, truly simple to make.

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