As the days get shorter and nights longer, nothing combats the changing of seasons like a homemade winter melon soup. Winter melon is believed to have cooling properties by the Chinese. It is understood to remove the excessive heat from the body that can lead to ailments and illness. Whether you are believer of Chinese medicine or not, winter melon is loaded with nutrients in a water-rich melon. It has vitamin B1, vitamin B3, vitamin C, and is also a fantastic source of calcium and potassium.
The other great aspect to winter melon soup is that it’s very easy to make.
- 8 cups of chicken stock
- 2 oz. of cured ham, finely chopped or sliced
- 4 dried scallops, shredded
- 1/2 tablespoon of red wolfberries (otherwise known as gogi berries)
- 1 slab or around 1 to 2-pounds of winter melon (at the grocery stores, they normally sell this pre-cut into a slab or wedge and shrink wrapped), chopped into cubes
- 1 piece of ginger, peeled and sliced
- 2 sprigs of green onion, finely chopped
- 1-cup cilantro, finely chopped
- Salt and pepper to taste
Put your 8 cups of chicken stock into a large pot or your pressure cooker, and add the ginger, chopped cured ham and dried scallops. Bring the stock to a slow boil on medium to high heat. Once the stock has reached boiling, turn the heat down to low to keep it simmering. Allow it to simmer for 15-20 minutes. (If you’re using a pressure cooker, allow your stock to continue boiling on medium heat for 5-10 minutes.)
Next, add the wolfberries and winter melon. Keep the stock simmering for another 10 minutes or until the winter melon has changed to a clear colour and is very soft in consistency. Finally, add the green onion, cilantro, and salt and pepper to taste.
It’s as simple as that. You can get either 4 large servings, or 8 smaller servings if you’re serving this soup as a first course. Enjoy!