Sunday, March 1, 2009

Watercress Soup with chicken breasts

Ingredients -

1 kg of watercress, use stems and leaves

500 gm skinless chicken breasts

1 cup of dried honey dates (mutt joe in Cantonese), omit this if you can’t find this in your area (or you can use 1 1/2 cups dried red dates pictured above instead)

3 litres of water

Method -

Put all ingredients in a pot or slow cooker, bring to a boil, remove any “scum” that is floating at the top, bring down the heat to low and simmer the soup for 4 hours (minimum). Season to taste.

This soup is very tasty and can be served with hot white rice, and your other dishes. Each of my family usually have a large bowl of this yummy soup, and I especially love eating the soft watercress.

** Note - it is important to use so much watercress and to simmer the soup for 4 hours so that the watercress’ strong “cooling” properties are removed, and the soup becomes very nutritious for our health, and it will have the potency to detoxify our lungs.

Otherwise, you can use a lesser amount of watercress, boil it in some chicken stock, add in your favourite meats (like shrimps, fish balls or chicken), season to taste, bring to a boil and the soup’s ready for you. In this method, this soup will be very “cooling” to your body and will be very suitable when your body is heaty with symptoms of sore gums, sore throat, headaches, flu.

I heard that someone was sick in bed and drank this simpler version of watercress soup and she got well in a day! In other areas, watercress is good for anaemia as it has loads of iron (in this case, it is best to eat it fresh in a salad).

Note: Lung Cleansing, Nutritious Watercress Soup - Good For Smokers
Facts and benefits of Watercress
1. It contains vitamins A , B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B17, C, D, E and K

2. It also has minerals - calcium, phosphorus, potassium, iron, sodium, magnesium, copper, manganese, florine, sulphur, chlorine, iodine, germanium, silica and zinc

3. It is often used as an antibiotic, antibacterial, diuretic, expectorant, stimulant, digestive aid, antiseptic, antioxidant and tonic

4. It was also popularly used as a therapeutic herb to treat / ease conditions like coughs, head colds, bronchial ailments, tuberculosis, asthma, emphysema, stress, pain, arthritis, stiff back and joints, diabetes, anemia, constipation, cataracts, failing eye sight, night blindness, leukemia, cancer, hemorrhaging, heart conditions, eczema, scabies, body deodorizer, edema, bleeding gums, indigestion, alcoholism, intestinal parasites, circulation, sluggish menstruation, lack of energy, kidney and gall stones, as a brain and nerve strengthener; ailments of the spleen, thyroid, and liver; to normalize cholesterol and blood pressure; for improved memory, for mental function decline and to retard ageing; for failing or scant milk supply of nursing mothers; to regulate flow of bile, health of glands and the functions of body metabolism.

5. It contains more sulphur than any other vegetables, except horseradish. Sulphur helps protein absorption, purifies blood, aid in cell building and gives us healthy hair and skin.

6. It also aids weight loss as it contains potassium which has diuretic properties to rid the body of excess fluids.

7. It was used as a traditional remedy for allergies, watering eyes, sneezing and stuffy head.

8. There is an expression ‘to eat cress’ which is used to describe idiots or wit-less buffoons.

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