I served this at a dinner at AA and EM's place last month for mid-Autumn festival ［中秋节］。 By now, you would probably realize that my style of cooking gives margins for errors and a step where you can adjust the flavours. Same goes for this soup.
Lotus roots and peanuts soup 花生莲藕汤
Ingredients for about 6 servings:
1 to 2 segments of lotus roots 莲藕
3 cups of braised peanuts 焖花生
Water or some liquid from braising the peanuts.
Optional: A pinch of salt if using water above
Optional: 3-5 red dates. For subtle, natural sweetness.
Note: All measures are approximate, add more/less as per your preference.
1. Rinse the lotus roots 莲藕. Cut into cross-section slices. If in a time-crunch, slice thinly so that the lotus roots will cook faster. Put into the pot.
2. If using red dates, rinse them and remove the seed. Dice and add into the pot.
3. Add water to cover the lotus roots. Or if using the peanuts-flavoured liquid, add 2-3 tablespoons per serving and top-up with water to cover the lotus roots.
4. Slow-cook for 2 hours. If in a time-crunch, 1 hour is enough, just that the lotus roots flavour may not be so developed.
5. At the final 1 hour of cooking, add the braised peanuts.
6. Stir and taste the soup. Add soya-sauce, mushroom sauce, sugar, etc to adjust the flavour to your taste. Be careful not to overpower the lotus roots flavour. If the lotus roots flavour is not strong enough, boil for a longer period, or add more lotus roots and continue to boil. If the peanuts flavour is not strong enough, stir in 1-2 tablespoons of peanut butter (note: adding peanut butter will turn the soup cloudy).
Note: This soup starts-off as a clear soup. The longer it is boiled, the more the lotus roots and peanuts breakdown, and thus turning the soup cloudy (and more richly flavoured).
There you have it. Simple, fail-safe peanuts and lotus roots soup 花生莲藕汤。Enjoy!