Lotus Root Soup for the Soul

I woke up this morning with an uncomfortable sorethroat and I could not let it progress to a cold or flu as I’m heading to the Gold Coast this weekend so getting sick is definitely a no-no. I then decided that lotus root soup was to be on the dinner menu tonight; not that I’m complaining as I LOVE drinking this soup. Whenever my mom didn’t feel like cooking, she would make a large pot of flavoursome soup such as this one, with meat and all and we would just have it with plain rice. Simple yes, but extremely wholesome and satisfying. I make this soup the way my mom does by adding red dates or jujubes for sweetness, lotus root which is the star of the soup obviously, dried cuttlefish for added saltiness and flavour and either lean pork or chicken for sweetness again and something to chew on besides the other more fibrous ingredients. I used a slow-cooker instead which meant I could conveniently chuck everything in one crock pot and slow cook the soup plus that method locks in all the goodness of the nutrients.

It helps to know that both red dates and lotus roots have their own medicinal benefits and I was particularly delighted to discover that red dates which has a ‘warming’ effect, have been used to sooth and treat sorethroats apart from being a natural stress-reliever. It is said that red dates serve as a rejuvenating tonic for our overall well-being. The other fibrous and rich in iron lotus root is known to have healing properties as well, particularly in relation to blood circulation and the digestive system. I always feel great after slurping up a bowl of lotus root soup; my elixir to chase those winter chills away. Probably drank too much; was incredibly hyper later at night plus my throat felt so much better. 


180 g dried or frozen lotus root (fresh would be even better)
100 g dried cuttlefish or squid (they might smell stinky right out of the packet but they flavour the soup so well)
170 g red dates or jujubes
1 kg lean chicken or pork ( I had half of both. Pork ribs work well with this soup)
3.5 litres water
salt to taste

  1. Rinse all dry ingredients under running water; then drain.
  2. If using a slow-cooker, pre-heat slow-cooker as per manual instructions. Add all ingredients and set to high mode; set timer for anywhere between 8 to 10 hours. Let it cook for the duration, then season with salt to taste. Meat should fall apart.
  3. For stove top, place meat, lotus root and water in a stock pot and bring to the boil; lower to simmer and continute cooking for 1 hour. Add in the red dates and dried cuttlefish and simmer for another 1 to 1.5 hours until meat is really tender. Season with salt.
  4. Serve as an appetiser, as it is or with plain rice.

Note: If using pork ribs, cover the ribs with water in a pot, bring to the boil and remove any scum that floats to the surface. Drain the water, rinse the pork ribs in cold water, drain then proceed to cook the soup as per the above instructions.

red dates, dried lotus root & dried cuttlefish





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