Savory Summer Soup
Chinese people are pretty well-known for using food to battle unpleasant elements in life to stay healthy and happy. Different food for different seasons and different genders. We don’t know exactly how long ago this tradition started, but we do know that it is true according to “Compendium of Materia Medica” (本草纲目) completed in 1578 by Li Shizhen (李时珍), a household name in China. Yes! more than four centuries ago Li listed in his book 1,892 entries of animals, plants, minerals of medicinal values. He is “the King of Traditional Chinese Medicine” in the eyes of every Chinese. He stated in his book that he based his medical research on the collective wisdom of people thousands of years before him such as Shen Nong (神农, b.c. 475, another legendary name), who is believed to have chewed and tested each and every plant he could find in the mountains across the country. From legendary characters in Chinese mythological stories to the recipes described in those stories, from books he could lay his hands on to the plants he could find in the corner of the world he could go to , Li finished the book in 27 years. Relying solely on the accumulated wisdom of Chinese medicine and nutrition system, generations after generations of people in China saved lives before modern scientific medicine was introduced to them from the Western world. Fascinating stories about food and longevity are plentiful. We’d better believe!
Li Shizhen, a statue in Hu Bei province, his hometown, in China
Compendium of Materia Medica (本草纲目)
Mung Bean (绿豆), the main ingredient in this recipe, is one of the entries listed in the book (marked in red).
No air conditioning? No problem! Paper fans, cloth fans… How about sitting down quietly in meditation to stay cool… But when hunger breeds in heat people invented magic dishes like this MUGN BEAN SOUP. All the ingredients has the quality of calming down disturbing “fire” inside and outside of your body! You’d better believe!
3 cool ingredients (lily bulbs, mung beans, lotus seeds)
fresh lotus seeds (莲芯) (dried ones used in this recipe) (pc CN Internet)
fresh lily bulb (百合) (dried ones used in this recipe) (pc CN Internet)
Ingredients (All available in Whole Foods or local oriental markets):
– 2 cups of mung beans (绿豆)
– 1 cup of dried lotus seeds (莲芯)
– 1 cup of dried lily bulb patels (百合)
– rinse all 3 ingredients together in a soup pot
– add 8 cups of water to the pot on high heat till it boils
– turn to low heat and let the pot simmer for half an hour till all become soft
– add sugar if you have a sweet tooth or no sugar for the best result
– serve hot immediately if you like it hot
– serve cold for the best result after chilling it in fridge
– serve frozen overnight (see picture at bottom)
– serve frozen overnight on DIY ice pops (not shown, for you to try)
add water, juice, or milk…for a cup of instant ice drink