Friday, December 28, 2012

Watercress Soup

We have a slow cooker at home, and it's under used really. So having taken the month off to chillax on my own, I decided to utilize the slow cooker and make some soup. Watercress soup is one of the easiet to make, and the simplicity in the flavour makes it one of my favourite soup.

Hot soup for the soul.
About 700 grams of watercress (for 2 pax).
Some pork bones (get those with some flesh to chew on, in Cantonese it's called "bou tong guat"). Or you could opt for an old chicken.
10 red dates
1 to 2 pcs chicken or duck gizzard (optional)
Salt to taste

First, blanch the watercress in hot water for a couple of minutes. Blanching it would remove the bitterness, if you skip this step, your soup is going to have a bitter taste, and you don't want that. Next, blanch the pork bones to get rid of the musky smell.

Because I'm using a slow cooker, it is wise to pour in boiling water into the pot, instead of room temperature water. Otherwise, the slow cooker is going to take forever to boil. Fill the slow cooker pot with water until it reaches half, then add all the other ingredients inside the pot. Switch to high for at least 20-30 minutes, this is part of the soup making process to ensure all the flavours come out. After that, you can switch the setting to Auto, and let the slow cooker run its course. You will have a lovely soup by evening, good for those who are working during the day and looking forward to have a nice warm soup in the evening. In my case, I left the slow cooker on Auto for about 4 hours, switched it off (took the pork out), and switched it back on High later in the evening when we wanted to drink the soup (adding salt to taste, and adding the pork back in). I didn't want the pork to constantly be boiling, it would make the meat tough.

We're also considering getting a Smart Cooker from Buffalo. The upside of this product is, you can set the timer to boil the soup, and after it's done, it will keep the soup warm. Unlike the slow cooker which is constantly boiling (even at Auto, the temperature is on high and low), and if you accidentally left the switch on High, you risk the soup evaporating and the slow cooker boiling on empty, which can be a hazard. The Smart Cooker stops boiling and keeps the soup warm, so you don't have to worry about your soup evaporating or safety hazards. At almost RM 900, it's pretty pricey, hmmm~


I love this soup! Try putting some lo han guo in next time.

RM900 sounds a lot to spend on an appliance but relative to things like a smart phone, a decent camera... it's not a lot to pay for something that's going to cook you good honest food :P