What better way to start the fall season with this Sweet Corn and Carrot Soup! This is my mom’s recipe. It’s sweet, little savory & a hint of nuttiness. Very easy and only 5 ingredients!
In the past month, my parents were in town visiting and staying at our place. We got to spend a lot of time together. There are lots of firsts. First time, my parents are staying at our apartment. We didn’t have a 2nd bedroom until recently. For the first time, my parents enjoyed a meal that I prepared. And I cooked with my mom side by side for the very first time.
Funny as it sounds, I never really cooked with my mom. When I left Hong Kong, I was 16. Before that, my job was to focus in school works and studying. I may have helped here and there once a while, but never cooked together a meal. Luckily, we got to experience it this time around. I have learned a few valuable things when it comes to traditionally Chinese cooking. On the other hand, I was able to show my mom how to make a few things too, like risotto and chocolate chip cookies.
Soup is a big deal in Cantonese cuisine. It’s believed that soup has many health benefits, like strengthening health, and nourishing our bodies. By boiling the ingredients for a long time, it helps to extract all the nutrients from the ingredients into the soup. Most Cantonese families make soup every night. My mom does the same. I had a lot a lot of soups growing up.
This sweet corn and carrot soup is one of the dishes that my mom made recently. It is easy and doesn’t require many ingredients. I rarely make Chinese soup, but I love this one! It’s sweet from the corn, carrot and dried sweet date, then there is a bit of nuttiness from the black eyed peas and cashew. There is a hint of savoriness too. No doubt comforting!
One interesting thing about this soup is that it’s meatless. It’s very uncommon not to have meat or bone in soup, especially back in the days. Meat and bone give soup lots of flavors, like sweetness and savoriness. But today, you can use cashew as substitution. Cashew gives a little nutty flavor, but still makes the soup sweet. I like that cashew is easier and more convenient than using meat.
A few other interesting ingredients are black eyed peas and dried sweet date. I have no idea that black eyed peas are used in Chinese soup, but apparently, it’s fairly common. Dried sweet date is essential in this soup. It gives the soup lots of flavors and sweetness. It’s a little tricky to find. I have only seen them in Chinese supermarkets, but you can get them online as well. Other than date, you can use dried fig as substitution. Dried fig is actually even better because of better nutritional value and less sweet.
Once you have all the ingredients ready, bring the water to a boil. Add everything (except for the salt). Bring back to a boil and reduce heat to medium-low. You want to keep the water in a small rolling boil, so nothing will stuck to the bottom of the pot. Boil for 1 1/2 hours to 2 hours, stirring every now and then. Around 1 1/2 hours, taste to see if the soup has enough flavors. You can boil a bit longer without a lid to reduce the soup if needed. Add a pinch of salt. Serve hot or warm.
Hope you guys will like this!
Sweet Corn and Carrot Soup
- 1.5 ounces black eyed peas 眉豆
- 8 cups water
- 2 thin carrots or 1 big carrot (peeled and cut into large chunks)
- 1 sweet corn on the cob (cut into 5 pieces)
- 1.8 ounces raw cashew
- 1 dried sweet date 蜜棗 (aka dried honey date)
- Pinch of salt
- In a small bowl, soak black eyed peas in room temperature water for 2 hours.
- In a large pot, bring 8 cups of water to a boil over high heat.
- Add carrot, corn, cashew, black eyed peas and date. Bring to a boil.
- Cover with a lid. Reduce to medium-low heat and keep on a small rolling boil for 1½ – 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
- Taste and season with a pinch of salt. Serve.
- Carrot sizes can be very different. Some are narrower and some are chubbier. In this recipe, I used the thin carrots. The carrots in Chinese supermarkets are usually bigger and chubbier. If that’s the one you get, use just 1.
- Raw cashew has no salt and not roasted. It can be easily found in regular supermarket.
- Dried sweet date can find in Chinese supermarkets or online.
- Dried sweet date can also be substituted with dried fig. Use 2 dried figs for 1 dried date.
- What I mean by “a small rolling boil”? It’s not a full boil, but not a simmer either. It’s kind of in between. I want the water to be moving enough nothing will stuck to the bottom.
- The ingredients can be eaten when the soup is done, but they may taste a little plain. I don’t mind it too much. I usually eat the corn, carrot and black eyed pea, but the cashew is too soft for my taste.
- You can double the recipe and make extra. Just keep the leftover soup for another day.
- Leftover soup can be kept in the fridge for a few days. Reheat on stovetop before serving.