Sunday, April 19, 2009

Three Bean Soup

I have not been making soup much as most days I come home late from work (though work is technically my own business). Well, for one, it means that we're doing really well in terms of getting new web design projects in.

The downside, I get to be home less and hence, less soup-making in the kitchen. I have been thinking of getting myself a bigger slow cooker or crockpot so I can put all the soup ingredients into the pot, switch it on and go off to the office. I can come home to a lovely, warm pot of soup. Currently I have a super tiny crockpot, inherited from my undergrad days. My dad bought it for me so I could make some soups for myself. I still have it but I only use it to boil 'ba zhen tang'. The pot is too small for making soups as it can only take 2 bowls of water.

Anyway, today I made some soup. (Actually the soup is merrily simmering away even as I blog this.) Today being a Sunday and typically Sundays are days where I try to catch up on my reading at home and cook some. I am baking some bread too so while the bread is rising and the soup is simmering, I am here, typing up this post.

So what have I concocted? I tried digging for some herbal soup packets (very handy to have for those emergency days when I don't feel very creative) but I wasn't very inspired by the 2 packets I saw in the fridge.

More digging about and I saw peanuts, black beans and soya beans on the shelf. So I am making a three-bean soup with chicken feet and pork bones and dried red dates.

I love putting chicken feet in soups though they tend to be oily. But, and this is a nice BUT, they contain collagen which is great for smooth skin. Just don't overdo the chicken feet. About 3 pairs will do. They're a nice addition to soups as once they're done, they're really tender and soft. Pig trotters also contain collagen and while they are also unhealthy in large amounts, pig trotters have lots of collagen too.

Ingredients:
3 pairs chicken feet
1 bowl pork bones
1/2 cup peanuts, washed
1/2 cup soya beans, washed
1/2 cup black beans
4-6 dried red dates, remove seeds
1.5 liter water

As always, blanch the chicken feet and pork bones first. Leave aside while you pan-fry the black beans till their skins pop at the seams and reveal the greenish beige insides. (Do not put oil to pan-fry the beans.) Only do this for black beans. The peanuts and soya beans don't need any extra treatment.

Bring a pot of water to boil. Add in all ingredients. Let it boil furiously on high heat for 10 minutes. Cover and lower fire to a mere simmer. Simmer for 3 hours. Season to taste with salt. Serve hot.
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