Homemade Spicy Sweet Potato Soup

I was wanting to make a soup for lunch – with a sandwich, so I roamed the grocery store and found some nice sweet potatoes. So, I figured I can make a delicious Sweet Potato Soup

4 Cups Chicken Stock
1 lb chopped sweet potato
1 chopped onion

Smokey Chipotle
White Pepper
Black Pepper
Cayenne Pepper

I first chop my onions and saute them until they’re golden. While they’re browning away, I chopped up my sweet potatoes into sticks. I got lazy to do them into chunks – which didn’t matter anyway as I use an immersion blender to make the soup thick and smooth afterwards.

When the onions have softened, I add the sweet onions into the pot and give it a few minutes to develop it’s flavours.

After a few minutes, I add the chicken stock into the pot and turn down the heat. After about 45 minutes, the sweet potatoes have soften – so I use the immersion blender in the soup. You will find the soup is quite thin, so let it cook down some more and it’ll thicken more and the flavours will become stronger.

Once the soup is to the right consistency, I then season up the soup and serve. This was my version of spicy sweet potato soup so I added smokey chipotle seasoning, cayenne pepper, white pepper, black pepper and some salt. I served this in a bowl with a gallop of sour cream. I’m not sure how much seasoning I used, but I kept tasting it until I was satisfied with the end result. It’s always best to add a little at a time until instead of adding too much and not knowing how to reduce the flavours.

Serve this soup hot and it’s really delicious. The sour cream helps cool the heat from the spicy, so it was a bowl of soup that was beautifully balanced.

Homemade Dong Gua Tong – 冬瓜湯

Wintermelon Chinese Soup

In my family, most of my Chinese soups begin with the same base, and for the most part, this soup is no exception.

1 lb of pork bones
1 slice of dong gua
5 or 6 dried shiitake mushrooms
3 tablespoons of dried shrimp
1 or 2 dried scallop
2 tablespoons of ginger
2-3 carrots
1 piece of dried orange peel

It is good to rehydrate all the dry ingredients a few hours ahead if you can. If not, it’s not a big deal as it all cooks together and will soften.

First, take a pot of boiling water and cook the pork bones in the pot of water. Then, when it’s cooked through (or most of it), rinse it with cold water and place into a soup pot.

In a the soup pot with the cooked pork bones, place peeled carrots which is cut into large chunks, dong gua into chunks as well – which I usually leave the peel on as well, so make sure you clean everything, and the ginger! Then, I place all the dry ingredients into the pot and fill it up with cold water.

Once the water boils, reduce the heat to low and let it simmer for at least 3 hours. The longer you let it simmer, the more flavours get developed into the soup. When you’re ready to enjoy, skim the fat off the top and add some salt to taste! Then, serve and enjoy this refreshing winter melon soup!

This particular time, we bought the edge of the dong gua and my other half decided it would be fun to make a bowl out of it as a dong gua zhong – winter melon pot. If you’re doing this properly, you steam the soup in this bottom piece and it then acts as a serving platform. Here, we just carved it and he used it as a bowl.