Sunday, October 13, 2013

Sweet October Soup (serves about 6-8)


I often associate Fall with crisp cool air, colorful leaves and pumpkins.  There are plenty of small sugar pumpkins available in many markets. You can pick a few for decorations and one to make this dessert.

Growing up in my family we almost never eat dessert right after a meal.  Dessert is eaten randomly. Most of the time it is served on special occasions or as a snack.  Also the dessert is never overwhelmingly sweet. When my family and I immigrated to the U.S. my mother made different types of Chinese/Vietnamese dessert treats for us.  Often times she made a dessert called chè (in Vietnamese) for us.  Chè is basically a sweet soup.  It is versatile, quick to make, delicious and nutritious.  You can add anything you want in this sweet soup.  I like to eat this while it is still hot.  

Ingredients:

1/2 sugar pumpkin or about 1 1/2 lb, peeled and cut into bite size (about 1 1/2 x 3/4th inch)
1 medium size sweet potato or about 1 lb, peeled and cut into bite size
1 medium size yam or about 1 lb, peeled and cut into bite size
8 C water
1 can (14 fl oz or 400 mL) coconut milk
1/2 C brown sugar (or according to your taste
1/3 C barley
1 tsp vanilla extract

Method:

1) In  a large pot add water, pumpkin, potato, yam, and barley over medium high heat.  Once the water boils turn the heat down to a gentle boil.  Cook with the cover on for about 20-25 minutes or until everything is soft.
2)  Add coconut milk, sugar, and vanilla and cook for another 5 minutes and turn off heat.

leaves of gold
(NH, October 2013)
*The beautiful Fall place-mat is made by my brother's grandmother-in-law, Barbara.  She has many amazing talents and one of them is her creation of these for me.  Thank you, Barbara!!

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