A Chinese classic, three colours soup is prepared with white radishes, green radishes and carrots.
Here’s a follow-up to an earlier post on the recipe for Tri-Coloured Carrot soup. I finally got around to stocking some lovely green radishes. Having both green as well as white radishes, a bagful of sweet carrots on hand, and having just prepared a fresh batch of home-cooked chicken broth, I decided to follow an authentic version of Three Coloured soup.
When choosing your radish, it is a matter of weight over beauty. By that, I mean that a radish that feels heavy in your hand when comparing radishes of roughly the same proportions, is indicative of its water content – hence, the heavier, the more juicy it is! Do not be tempted to choose on the basis of how nice they look, though needless to say, one would not choose a radish that obviously looks like it is turning bad.
This is where the term ‘Three-Colours’ comes from – a lovely assortment of colourful radishes and carrots! Green radish contains amylase, proteins and essential minerals such as potassium. It is believed, in traditional Chinese medicine, that the green radish enhances the spleen, prevents the development of phlegm, and moisturises the tongue.
The white radish is equally beneficial, and is consumed to quench thirst, clear ‘heat’ and improve digestion. When cooked, the white radish is effective in treating urinary disorders, reducing inflammation and facilitating bowel movements. Importantly, it has a specific anti-oxidant compound called sulforaphane, which has been proven to protect against prostrate, breast, colon and ovarian cancers due to its ability to inhibit cancer cell growth and its cyto-toxic effects on malignant cells (source: www.nutrition-and-you.com).
Here is how you can prepare this simple, yet delicious soup, to consume all its nutritional and medicinal benefits!
Three Colours Double-Stewed Soup
- 500 g pork ribs
- 2 to 3 dried scallops washed
- 15 red dates washed
- 1 white radish peeled, cut into bite-size chunks
- 1 green radish peeled, cut into bite-size chunks
- 2 carrots peeled, cut into bite-size chunks
- Enough chicken stock or water
- Salt to taste
- In a small saucepan, bring water to boil and parboil the pork ribs for a few minutes to remove scum and grit. Discard the water, and wash well.
- Place all ingredients in a slow cooker. Pour in chicken stock or water until just enough to immerse all the ingredients. Cook on Auto or High setting for at least 4 hours. If cooking in a deep pot, bring all the ingredients in stock or water to a boil, then lower heat and let simmer for at least 3 hours, or longer, or until meat is fall-off-the-bone tender. Season to taste. Serve hot or warm.