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Sunday, August 14, 2011

Chinese Green Bean Soup

When I was a child my mother used to make me this soup during the summers. I would consume this soup cold. The soup is supposed to have cooling properties on your body.

The Chinese culture believes in having an internal furnace and eating different foods that are of Yin and Yang will either cool or heat up your internal furnace. One example of this is if you're getting a lot of bloody noses its because your internal furnace is running too hot so you'll need to eat something that will cool you down. Something of Yin (direct translation is shade) nature will help cool the internal furnace down. Examples of foods are watermelon, green bean soup, pears and mangoes. So during hot seasons you'll see many Chinese eating food with a cooling effect. The opposite can be said during cold seasons. The Chinese will often be seen eating foods of a Yang (translation - sunny) nature that is supposed to heat up the internal furnace. I don't necessarily know that I subscribe to this theory in its entirety, but I love having this soup during summer because it nostalgically reminds me of my childhood.

Below is a modified version of the website I've linked you to. Try this recipe out, it should remind you of soupy oatmeal. This soup shouldn't be overtly sweet, it should be subtly sweet to mildly sweet. My mother used to add sago, so if you want you can add that too.

Serves 6
200 gram whole green beans (about 1 cup)
100 gram of pearl barley (about ½ cup)
1 pot of water, 70% filled (about 2000ml)(approximately 6 cups of water)
1 big lump of crystal rock sugar (about 75gram)to taste.

1) Wash green beans in running tap water.
2) Place beans in a pot of water. Bring beans and water to a boil over medium fire. Cover with lid.
3) Briefly wash pearl barley, and place in the pot, when water boiled.
4) Reduce heat to low fire, simmer for about 45 min to 1 hour, or until beans have slightly expanded out of their skins. Texture of beans and barley should be soft and fluffy.

Mung beans seem to be present in eastern cooking, but not so much western cooking. Click here for Mung Bean nutrition info. Mung beans are a good source of fiber, vitamins, protein and low in fat and calories.

I hope you try this recipe out and I hope you enjoy it.

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