Skin Food: Beauty Soup Recipe
A popular Traditional Chinese Medicine nourishing dessert soup
The Chinese have a longstanding tradition of cooking with herbs (link to food as medicine) to nourish the body, fight off disease, and strengthen the immune system. Whether dining at a Chinese friend’s home or at your local Chinese restaurant, you will often find soups sprinkled with medicinal herbs.
The Beauty Soup is a popular nourishing dessert soup made with white wood ear mushrooms (similar in appearance to maitake mushrooms), pears, goji berries, and dates.
The ingredients of this herbal soup have a strong moistening property to nourish your blood and yin (feminine energy), two vital substances that support a vibrant and youthful appearance. These herbs are also beneficial to your lungs, which, in Traditional Chinese Medicine, influence your skin and the complexion.
If you visit a Chinese dessert shop, you will likely find Beauty Soup on the menu, as it’s simple to make and satisfies your sweet tooth while simultaneously combating skin dryness and signs of aging. The natural warmth of the soup and it’s dryness-fighting properties also make it a perfect fall or winter dessert!
Many of these medicinal foods are easily found at any Asian grocery store and most health food stores. Check out the Beauty Soup recipe below to give your skin a boost this fall!
Beauty Soup Recipe
- 2 pears
- 3 clumps of white wood ear mushroom
- 1 tablespoon of rock sugar (any sugar will do)
- 5 cups of water
- 10 dates
- ¼ cup of goji berries
- ¼ cup of lotus seeds (optional)
- Soak the dried white wood ear mushroom in warm or cold water for about 2-3 hours before you begin cooking to soften and rehydrate it before cooking. If you use dried lotus seeds, you will also want to soak them before cooking.
- After the mushroom has softened, chop them into small pieces and remove the hard part at its bottom.
- Wash the pear, remove its peel and dice it into small squares.
- Boil the mushroom, pear, and rock sugar together and simmer for about 15 minutes.
- Once the mixture has reached a boil, turn the burner to low and let the soup simmer for 30 minutes.
- Add the dates and goji berries then let the soup simmer on low for another hour, add more sugar to your liking or more water if the soup becomes too thick.
- Turn off the burner and enjoy the soup hot. All of the ingredients are edible. There is no need to strain the mixture. However, take care in eating the dates as they may have large seeds.
Additional Cooking Note: If you have a slow cooker, you can use that to cook your Beauty Soup. If not, a standard pot works fine!
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