Black Chicken Soup
Simmered black chicken soup with the above Chinese traditional herbs is one of my family's hot favourites on many a weekend, and even on weekday-nights (with the help of a crockpot, happily purring away for the whole day). The dark brown soup may look threateningly foul but in reality, far from it being evil-smelling or bitter-tasting, the soup is flavorful and tinged with sweetness from the addition of dried red dates and medlar seeds.
After imbibing a bowl or more of this soup, I always feel that I'm a little bit closer to achieving overall physical well-being and balancing out the yin and yang within (must be all that dogmatic indoctrination from young while under mum's care).
The traditional herbs and roots in the picture (with their supposed health benefits), starting clockwise from the red dates right at the base of the bowl are:
- Chinese red dates (hong-cho, in Cantonese) - nourishes the stomach, spleen and blood
- Dang Shen - benefits the lungs and helps in blood circulation
- what I believed to be Chuan Qiong - a sliced root to nourish the blood
- Medlar Seeds (kei-chi, in Cantonese) - improves vision (personally, I think they add sparkle to the eyes), nourishes the lung and kidneys and are believed to be good for diabetes
- Huai Shan (wai-san, in Cantonese) - these are another form of root slices, chalk-white in color, which are believed to be good for the kidneys and lungs