Friday, 14 June 2013

Tomato and Potato Soup (番茄土豆湯)

Chinese soup is tricky. I remember my 婆婆 used to have great glass jars of weird and wonderful things in her cupboards, looking like roots, shoots, bits of bark, dried fruits, nuts and (eek) crucified lizards. She would take a bit of this, a bit of that, mix it all and create a soup. And as a child, I hated soup. Hated it. It was always scalding hot and full of weird slimy things. And I wasn't allowed to leave the table until I'd finished it!

Nowadays, I love soup. Whenever I see my parents, they usually give me a flask of the stuff to take away, which is a good thing because I never get round to making it myself. It's much easier now, as you can buy a packet soup mix in the Chinese supermarket, add a bit of meat and water, boil it for several hours and forget about it.

Chinese Soup Mix Example
Tomato and potato soup is dead easy and doesn't require a trip to the Chinese supermarket. It takes about an hour to cook and can be eaten with rice for a light supper, or accompanied by other dishes. My parents would be horrified if they knew I only had soup and rice for dinner sometimes!


  • 3 large tomatoes, sliced into wedges
  • 2 floury potatoes, peeled and sliced into large chunks
  • 1/2 an onion, sliced
  • 2-3 slices of peeled, raw ginger
  • A handful of pork ribs, or a pork loin steak (substitute vegetable stock for a vegetarian version)
  • Salt and ground white pepper to taste
Serves 4


  • Place the ribs or loin steak in a pan, fill with water and bring to the boil for 5 minutes, to remove the scum. Drain, rinse the meat and pan, then replace the ribs in the pan and add the ginger, onions and tomatoes
  • Fill the pan with water (around 1-1.5 litres) and bring to the boil. Put the lid on and boil gently for 30 -40 minutes
  • After 30-40 minutes, add the potatoes, then boil for approx. 30 minutes until the potatoes are soft
  • Season to your taste with salt and ground white pepper and serve

Tomato and Potato Soup

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