You must be wondering how apples could be made into a soup. Well, you can! And it tastes really good too. The good thing is, this recipe works even better with older mushier apples, so if you have an apple or two lying in your fridge for far too long, it’s a great way to turn it into a meal!
I haven’t seen this soup anywhere else apart from in my family. So maybe it’s a family recipe, or just something my mother has learnt from someone else. I have been having this since I could remember.
What do you need for this recipe is a ready supply of Chinese apricot kernels.
What are Northern and Southern Chinese Apricot Kernels?
Dried Chinese apricot kernels are a common ingredient in traditional Chinese medicine. There are two types:
Northern Chinese Apricot Kernels, ‘Beixingren’ 北杏仁
The Northern Chinese apricot kernels are from the stone of the Siberian apricot (Prunus Sibirica). They are extremely bitter but are very fragrant. One must not consume more than a handful of these as they are mildly toxic. However, in traditional Chinese medicine, Siberian apricot kernels stimulate respiration and improve digestion.
Southern Chinese Apricot Kernels, ‘Nanxingren’ 南杏仁
The Southern Chinese apricot kernels on the other hand are made from the stones of the varieties of Chinese apricots under Prunus Mume. These kernels are not toxic at all and they are sweet in taste. However, these do not have any medicinal value.
In Chinese medicinal cuisine, both varieties are mostly used in equal amounts.
Note: there is a widespread mistranslation of Chinese apricot kernels into English as “almonds”. This is because the almond tree, the apricot tree, and the plum tree all belong to the same family Prunus. The Chinese also group them altogether as ‘Xing’ 杏.
- 2 old red apples, without core, cut into chunks
- 100-150g thin pork fillet (use chicken if you like)
- 1 tbs Northern Chinese apricot kernels, rinsed and drained
- 1 tbs Southern Chinese apricot kernels, rinsed and drained
- 1 slice fresh ginger
- 1l water
- Salt and pepper to taste
Serving: 2 persons
- Bring to boil water in a pot. Put all ingredients in.
- Bring to boil, then turn the heat to low. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes or until the pork and apples are extremely soft.
- Salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot!