In this article, I will explain how to prepare my favorite home-cooked Chinese vegetable soup with carrot and radish.
This Chinese vegetable soup is a regular dish for my family, which previously was cooked by my mother and recently myself.
We used slightly different ingredients for the soup but still share a few similarities. First, they are clear soup, just like most of the other Asian soups. We never mash or blend the vegetables to make it creamy. Secondly, we always prepare the soup base separately with either chicken or pork bone, which depends on what is available on that day. (Note: This is not a vegetarian recipe.) Finally, we like to add other root vegetables to create a more colorful and wholesome soup. My mom likes to include potatoes, but I am more keen to add sweet corn for the flavor.
The recipe is divided into two sections. First, you need to prepare the soup stock with the bones. You can use the store-bought chicken stock if you are running out of time or wish for an easy way out. This option will lessen the workload by half, and shorten the preparation time to less than thirty minutes
Here are the steps to prepare the Chinese vegetable soup.
1. Prepare the chicken soup stock
A high-quality stock is the foundation of a bowl of good soup.
Some of the best soup stock in the restaurant is prepared with a combination of chicken bone, pork bone, Chinese ham, as well as vegetables.
Since this is not practical to cook this way at home, we usually use only chicken or pork bone as the ingredients for the soup base. In this recipe, I am using two chicken carcasses to prepare the chicken stock. Some home cooks prefer to use pork ribs, which is served as part of the meal. If you want to save time, you can also use the store-bought chicken stock, although the conclusion may not be as good as if you prepare it from scratch.
Here are the steps:
1. Clean the chicken carcasses with running water to remove as much debris and blood as possible. Drain.
2. Chop the chicken carcass into large chunks with a clever.
3. Put the bone in a stockpot and fill it with cold water. Make sure the water is sufficient to submerge the bones entirely, which is essential to extract the flavor from the chicken bone.
4. Bring it to a boil. Remove the scum floating on the surface with a small wire mesh strainer.
5. Let the bones simmer for forty-five minutes over low heat, then remove the bones with a pair of tongs.
6. Keep removing the scum floating on top from time to time to ensure you will get a clear stock.
7. After forty-five minutes, pour the chicken stock through a wire mesh strainer again to remove any unwanted debris.
2. Cut all the vegetables
The main vegetable used in this recipe is radish. Although you can only use radish alone with delicious soup stock, it is more wholesome if you include a combination of vegetables to make the Chinese vegetable soup more colorful and tasty.
Besides the radish, other vegetables suitable for this recipe are carrot, onion, sweet corn, potatoes, and tomatoes.
You may need to include all of them, or partly depends on your preference and the availability.
I cut the radish and carrot into slices, onion into small chunks, and break the sweet corn into 4 to 5 sections.
If you want to include potatoes, cut the potatoes into bite-sized portions with or without the skin. As for the tomatoes, cut into small pieces and simmer along with other vegetables.
Note: Some people do not want to cook radish and carrot together, since the enzyme in carrot may destroy the vitamins in radish. If this is your concern, please omit the radish and substitute it with tomatoes and potatoes. That will become a classic root vegetable soup, a.k.a. ABC soup which is popular among Malaysian Chinese.
3. Simmer and season the soup
Once you have the got all the ingredients ready, you can start to boil the soup.
Here are the steps:
1. Bring the filtered chicken stock to a boil again in the stockpot.
2. Add the carrots, radish, and the sweet corn to the chicken stock. Turn down the heat when the soup is boiling again.
3. Let it simmer for 30 minutes until the radish and carrot are soft.
4. Add the onion and continue to simmer for another 10 minutes. I usually do not add the onion earlier because I do not want it to disintegrate totally when served.
5. Finally, season the Chinese vegetable soup with salt and pepper. Serve.
If you like this recipe, you may also want to try other Asian soup on this blog. I suggest you can try the egg drop soup that is quick and easy to prepare. You may also like to try the Malaysian style oxtail soup that is burst with the flavor of the local herbs and spices.
- 1 sweet corn
- 1 medium-sized carrot
- 1 medium-sized onion
- 200g of radish
- Chicken bone from 2 chicken carcasses (or use pork bone)
- 1 1/2 tsp of salt
- 1/4 tsp of white pepper
- water sufficient to submerge the bone
- Cut sweet corn into 5 to 6 portions, carrot and the radish into slices, and the onion into small pieces.
- Clean the chicken carcasses. Cut the bone into large pieces. Submerge the bones in cold water in a pot.
- Bring it to the boil. Remove the scum on the surface by using a small wire mesh strainer.
- Let the bone simmer over low heat for 45 minutes.
- After 45 minutes, remove the bones by using a pair of tongs.
- Filter the stock to remove any unwanted debris.
- Add the carrots, radish, and the sweet corn to the chicken stock. Let it simmer for 30 minutes.
- Add the onion into the chicken stock. Let it boil for another ten minutes.
- Season with salt and pepper. Serve.
As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 369Total Fat: 18gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 120mgSodium: 1894mgCarbohydrates: 20gFiber: 4gSugar: 7gProtein: 34g