Comfort foods have helped so many of us get through the worst of winter. Everyone has their thing, whether it’s mac & cheese, French onion soup, or a banana split. For Shuobi Wu, third generation ceramicist and owner of Lineage Ceramics, it’s his grandmother’s lotus root soup.
“My grandma used to make lotus root soup a lot for us in kindergarten. And when I started school in a different city, later a different country, my mom also makes the soup as the first meal whenever I’m back home. Always. No matter how old I get, wherever I go, that one or two times every year that I went home, the first meal was always the Lotus Root soup. Like we had a deal or something, even though we never did. The soup itself has a very subtle flavour profile, yet so comforting and refreshing. It calms me down right away from any trip. Therefore, to me, it was a great memory of care and love – subtle, comforting, and so thoughtful. Just like the soup.”
Lotus Root Soup is a popular dish in Teoswa (Shuobi’s family home), as well as a large part of the Canton area of China. It’s very light, healthy and comforting. Lotus root itself is a popular ingredient across Asia. It is rich in fibre and minerals, and helps your digestive system and reduces inflammation.
Here’s how you can make it:
Lotus Root Soup
1lb lotus root
100g pork bones. For vegetarians, replace them with 1 corn (chopped into 3-4 parts) and ½ cup adzuki beans
4 red dates
2 slices of ginger
(Optional) 80g dried squid
(Optional) 2-3 garlic cloves
Step 1 (Prep)
Peel the skins of the lotus roots, wash and cut them into 5mm slices to be ready. Pit red dates, and cover dried squids in a bowl of cold water.
Step 2 (Vegetarians can skip to step 4)
Blanch your pork bones by covering them in cold water and bring to boil. Simmer for 10-15 minutes until you see a good amount of “nasty bits”. Remove the bits and drain the water.
Roast the pork bones in the oven at 450˚F for 30 mins until they turn crispy brown.
Start a clean pot of water, and add in the pork bones (or the corn and the adzuki beans), peanuts, lotus roots, red dates, ginger and the optional items as preferred. Bring to boil, then simmer in low heat for 2-4 hours, depending on how rich you want the soup to be.
Note: The soup will taste even better with a slow-cooker. Sometimes the soup colour is red, which comes from the skin of the peanuts, and it’s totally natural. You can also add in some green onions at the end to bring up the colour and lighten up the flavour.