Drink a Chinese Potato Soup for Weight Loss and Cold Relief

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Chinese potato soup recipes are hearty and satisfying. Unlike creamy potato soups, they are clear broths with potato in bite-sized chunks or small cubes.

It might come as a surprise but potato can be used in a weight loss diet. Many people think that potato is very starchy and will cause weight gain. In fact only 20% of a potato is starch and it has only 0.1% fat. It is high in dietary fibre and bulk up after consumption.

However, this is not a reason to think that eating french fries can help you lose weight. Frying the potato increase the fat content. So, to consume potato for weight loss, eat and drink it in Chinese soups. It is commonly combined with carrots and onions to form a wholesome trinity.

Read a little story about this cold-relieving soup.

Potato soup recipe with pork ribs and carrot

Homemade potato soup. Photo by Phoebe Lim.

This recipe with pork ribs and carrot is a superly yummy and healthy Chinese soup. I like to drink this Chinese soup whenever I am feeling overworked, tired and stressed.

If you want the potatoes and carrots to be softer, you can lengthen the cooking time to a maximum of 1 hour. If you want a crunchier soup, you can cut bigger cubes.

Do not try to shorten cooking time by increasing heat. Cooking over low heat is important. The flavour of the soup does require more than 30 minutes of simmering to develop.

Ingredients

  • 200g potatoes
  • 100g carrots
  • 300g pork ribs
  • 2 tbsp goji berries 枸杞子 (gou qi zi)
  • 3 dried red dates, cored
  • 1800ml water
  • Salt & pepper

Directions

  1. Parboil the pork ribs, drain, wash & trim off any excess fat
  2. Peel the carrots and potatoes, cut into bite-sized cubes
  3. Bring 1800ml water to boil, add ribs, carrots and potatoes
  4. Add the gou ji zi and red dates
  5. Simmer for 30 mins. Add salt and pepper to taste
  6. Let stand for 5-10 minutes before serving

You can also make this soup in the slow cooker or the thermal cooking pot. For the thermal cooking pot, bring the water and ingredients to boil in the inner pot. Let it boil for about 20 minutes before transferring in into outer pot and sealing it tight. Give it about 2 to 3 hours. Take out the inner pot and check whether the potato is soft and the pork is tender. If they are, take the pot out and bring the soup back up to a boil before serving.

For the slow cooker, place the water and ingredients into the earthen pot and turn the slow cooker on high. Cover and let it cook for about 30 minutes. Turn to low and continue to cook till the potato is soft and pork ribs is tender.

Recipe variation from a visitor

Instead of pork ribs, use lean pork cut into small cubes. Additional ingredients include: diced onions, sliced or diced Carrots (whichever your preference), cubed potatoes, a stick of cinnamon, red dates.

The cooking method consists of bringing the onion cubes in water to a boil first before adding all the other ingredients and simmering for at least an hour. Just before serving, remove the cinnamon stick so that the flavour doesn't get too overwhelmingly strong. If you like a bit of a peppery aftertaste, you can also consider adding a few white peppercorns into the soup while simmering as well.

Potato Facts

In 2005, the origin of potatoes was finally determined through genetic analysis to be Southern Peru. It is a relatively new produce in China, believed to be imported by returned migrants from Southeast Asia.

Handful of potatoes. Photo by Tommy Hemmert Olesen.

Potato contains proteins and a wide range of minerals. It can be made into a variety of food items. Fries, chips, potato starch powder, potato starch threads (<em>potato vermicelli</em>). It can even be made into liquor or animal feed.

Raw potato contains a type of toxin but it can be removed with cooking. If stored potato is exposed to sunlight it may turn green and increase the amount of toxin in the potato.

Moderate consumption of potato has some health benefits. A Japanese study discovered that a weekly diet of 5-6 potatoes can reduce the risk of stroke by 40%.

For more potato recipes, look at the Chinese yam soups article, just replace the fresh Chinese yam with potato.

Happy Souping, Phoebe