In China there was a popular style of living, called YangShen (養生), meaning to nurture life for health and happiness. Alongside with the concept of peace and harmony, YangShen also promotes a healthy lifestyle which interpreted by many food-loving Cantonese as eating well, fine tea drinking and to enjoy a variety of healing herbal soups.
This herbal soup is called QinBuLiang (清補涼), meaning cleansing, nourishing and cooling. It is often served when a family member is stressed, anxious or with dry coughs.
The shop-bought QinBuLiang soup base contains pearl barley (YiMi 薏米), lotus seeds (LianZi 蓮子), goji berries (GouQi 枸杞), fox nuts (Qianshi 芡實 ), Chinese yam (HuaiSan 淮山) and Solomon’s seal rhizome (YuZu 玉竹), each has well-recognized healing benefits. The soup is cooked with pork to enhance its flavor. I also add a tablespoonful of dried longan fruit to give it a hint of sweetness.
- 1 pack of ‘qin bu liang’ soup base (available from Asian stores)
- 1 tbsp. of dried longan fruit (optional, this will make the soup sweater)
- 300g of lean pork or chicken
- 1.5L of of water (add more water if you prefer a thinner soup)
- salt to taste
- Clean the soup mix and longan fruit with water
- In a saucepan, add water, soup base, longan and pork; bring to boil; turn the heat down to low, simmer for approximately 1.5-2 hours with a lid on
- Add salt to taste
(Note: I discard most ingredients when the soup is ready – just enjoy the hot soup)