Here is a sweet-tasting tonic soup that helps improve sleep when taken regularly over time. I often prepare this to help me overcome my on and off bouts of restless sleep. Even if you are not having any sleep issues, as a tonic concoction, all the ingredients are nutritionally beneficial and promote good internal health and improve our well-being.
The active ingredients used here are sweet Chinese red dates, dried longan fruit, dried lily bulbs (not in my pictures here since I didn’t have it stocked at the time), snow fungus and lotus seeds.
In Chinese herbalism, red dates are believed to strengthen the spleen and stomach, replenish qi, nourish and increase blood, and calm an overactive mind.
Dried longan fruit is a qi and blood tonic (herb to build up blood), and believed to promote relaxation, relieve insomnia, forgetfulness and anxiety.
The tonic properties of lily bulbs are often used, among other things, to promote restful sleep, overcome restlessness and irritability.
Snow fungus is used to enhance bodily fluids, relieve dry cough, overcome heart palpitations and a trembling nervous system, as well as improve skin tone.
Lotus seeds possess calming and sedative properties, and is used as a natural remedy to treat conditions of insomnia and restlessness.
This soup also has a wonderful myriad of textures and flavours to enthral you with every mouthful – the sweet, juicy flesh of longan fruit, the springy crunch of mildly sweet snow fungus, the mushy, moist flesh of red dates, the soft, silk-like petals of lily bulbs, and the nutty flavour of crunchy lotus needs.
What’s more, this is one of those soups you can blend to a fine, smooth, thin paste, similar to the consistency of a creamy soup, and just drink up! The nutrients will be more quickly absorbed by our bodies when consumed this way. So, if you happen to have trouble sleeping or difficulty with being calm and relaxed, remember to try this brew!
SWEET TONIC SOUP RECIPE
This recipe serves 4 persons.
25 gm Red Dates, pitted
25 gm Dried Lotus Seeds, cored, soaked in water for 1 hour
25 gm Dried Lily Bulb
50 gm Dried Longan
20 gm Snow Fungus, soaked in water for 10 minutes, tough and yellowed ends removed, washed thoroughly
60 gm Rock Sugar, or to taste
5 cups of water
1. Wash all ingredients thoroughly to rid of sand, dirt or grit.
2. Bring water to boil in a pot. Add all ingredients, except rock sugar, and bring to boil again. Then lower heat, and let simmer for about 30 minutes or till lotus seeds (which takes longer to cook) are cooked through. When almost done, add rock sugar and cook till it completely dissolves. Adjust sweetness to your preference. Turn off heat, dish out a little of every ingredient with soup, into individual serving bowls. Serve hot, warm or chilled.
3. If preferred, pour cooked soup into a high-power blender (remember to practise safe blending and fill with liquid only up to the recommended depth of your particular make or model of blender) and blend on high speed till fine and smooth. Serve hot, warm or chilled.