I think I’m falling in love. With this pear soup that is. Hehehe.. Seriously, this soup turned out so sweet and delicious I think I’m going to make it again soon. Perhaps with a different variety of pear the next time.
Cooking with Pears
Did you know that fruits can taste so good when boiled into a soup? I confess that I haven’t cooked this soup for a long time so my memory of the taste was a little hazy. But one thing I remember clearly is that my late mother used to boil this soup using fragrant pears and I’m re-creating her recipe with little twists of my own. You can see the image of the fragrant pears that I used below.
The fragrant pears that I bought were smallish; about 150 gm each so I used 4 of them for this soup. Even though they were small, I was pleased that the soup still turned out sweet.
These pears live up to its name. It has a fruity and floral aroma with a sweet, juicy and crispy texture when eaten raw. According to National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, fresh pears contain almost 85% water per 100g. My children love them so much because they are soooo delicious. Be sure to leave some for a healthy snack after you make this soup. 🙂
Pears are a good source of dietary fibre, vitamin C, various minerals such as copper, iron, potassium, manganese and magnesium as well as B-complex vitamins such as folates, riboflavin and pyridoxine (vitamin B-6). Further reading on the nutritional facts of pears can be found here.
You can also use other varieties of Chinese pears like Yali, the bronzed-tone Hosui (also known as Snow Pears) and Golden. I would try using bigger pears when I make this soup the next time. Bigger pears means there’s more luscious and juicy pear flesh that you can sink your teeth into. Yummy! 🙂
Dried Apricot Kernels
Apricot kernel helps to relieve coughs and sore throats. Sometimes I will boil these kernels with some rock sugar when I have a cough. There are 2 kinds of apricot kernels – Northern Apricot Kernels (北杏仁) and Southern Apricot Kernels (南杏仁). The former is bitter while the latter is on the sweet side.
You can use a ratio of 1:2 of the kernels for this soup or only the Southern Apricot Kernels. They provide a crunchy texture and complement the softness of the boiled pear really well. Take a whiff of the kernels before you add them into the soup. They smell so lovely!
White fungus the Beauty Food
The pictures below show the white fungus in its dried form and soaked form. Also known as white wood ear, silver fungus, snow fungus and silver ear, white fungus looks pale yellow when dry but once immersed in water, it will puff up in minutes and turn semi-transparent.
Doesn’t it look beautiful? You do not need to use too much of it since it is able to expand and double its original size. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), white fungus is very suitable for this group of people:
- Someone who has chronic cough and dry cough with no phlegm
- Someone who has dry skin or constipation
- Someone who smokes and has dry throat and dry cough. White fungus can help reduce lung damage from smoking.
You can read more about the medicinal benefits of snow fungus here. For ladies reading this, it is believed that eating white fungus will beautify and moisten our skin. White fungus is also known as a “poor man’s bird nest” as it has similar anti-aging properties but at a more affordable price. You can purchase them at Chinese herbal shops and also on Amazon.
This Chinese Pear Soup recipe is both sweet and savoury at the same time. The pork ribs provide the savoriness while the dried red dates, dried figs and honey dates will sweeten the soup.
It is also very versatile. Turn this savory soup into a tasty, sweet dessert by cooking without the meat and adding some rock sugar. Serve it warm or chilled.
Other soups that help to soothe sore throats and cough:
Luo Han Guo with Watercress Soup
Apple Pork Ribs Soup
If you love eating fruits, try this delicious Green Papaya Fish Soup too. It is especially good for breastfeeding women but can also be taken by everyone else. 🙂
Other Chinese soup recipes with fruits you may like:
Bitter Melon Pineapple Chicken Soup
- 4 fragrant pears (about 150g each) - peel, cut into halves and cored
- 250 gm pork ribs
- 3 tsp of sweet apricot kernels (南杏)
- 4 dried figs
- 2 honey dates
- 10 g snow fungus
- 4 dried pitted red dates
- Water - Just enough to immerse all the ingredients
- Soak white fungus for about 15 minutes (longer if you can) in water to soften it. Cut off the hard bottom and discard. Cut the remaining white fungus into smaller pieces and set aside.
- In a pot of boiling water, blanch the pork ribs for about 5 minutes to remove scum. Do not skip this process if you want a clear pot of soup. Remove pork ribs from the pot. Rinse and set them aside.
- Add blanched pork ribs, pears, snow fungus, dried figs, honey dates, dried red dates, sweet almonds and water into a soup pot and bring it to a boil. Once boiling, lower the heat and simmer for around 1.5 hours or until meat is tender.
- Season with salt if desired.
2. For larger pears (Snow or Yali variety), you'll need just 2 or 3 for this recipe due to the larger size.
3. Estimate 1 pear per person. So, if more people are taking the soup, add more pears and use enough water to immerse all the ingredients by about an inch.
I hope to try this soon. It sounds so good. I love cooked pears, the flavour is so good. I am going to look into the white fungus. With working in kitchens for so many years I sometimes get a long lasting cough that will go on for months and nothing helps. I am not a smoker but it is like a smokers cough. I have tried every type of cure out there but no relief. So now I just need to find that, don’t really know where it would be. Don’t think you can find that in any grocery store. Thank you for the idea.
Thanks for writing in. Besides white fungus, the dried apricot kernels will also help to soothe coughs and sore throats. You should be able to find them in a Chinese medical hall or places where Chinese dried herbs are sold. If not, Amazon sells some of them too. Take care.
This looks absolutely delicious! Until recently, I only ate fresh pears as a snack, but then I tried it pickled with some cloves and cinnamon and I totally fell in love! I’ll be sure to give this recipe a go, especially that I like all the other ingredients. Just never thought to put it all together 🙂
Pickled pear with cloves and cinnamon sounds interesting! Do let us know how you find this Chinese pear soup. You can also have it as a dessert if you omit the pork. Thanks for your comments! 🙂
Helen Wong says
I used the tanyu claypot, medium sized. Only my hubby and I at home, I usually boil the soup for 2 meals.
Wonder if it tastes just as good if I use red apples?
I have the tanyu claypot too and I love to use it for boiling soups. Yes, the soup will also be tasty if you use red apples. 🙂
Helen Wong says
Thanks for the recipe, I tried it for lunch today and it was soooo good that I’ve also fallen in love with it!
I followed exactly your recipe except for honey dates cos my hubby doesn’t like honey dates.
You’re most welcome. I’m glad you enjoyed the soup! May I know which type of soup pot did you use to try out this recipe?
Helen Wong says
I thought I had replied last night, but I don’t seem to see my reply now.
I used tanyu claypot, medium sized. Only my hubby and I, so I usually make soup for 2 meals. I cook once a week, on Sundays.
I have never thought of putting fruit into a soup before! Ok wait I just remembered my mom makes butternet and orange soup and that is divine 🙂
I love the taste of pears when cooked, but I have only had it in desserts before. Look forward to trying this out! Thanks for sharing this great recipe.
Pears taste lovely when cooked in soups. I love them in desserts too especially in tarts and pies. Actually, just about anything 😀
That looks absolutely divine although I don’t really like pears. I do however like the flavour. My daughter and husband love them so perhaps this could be a treat for them some evening. I had no idea that pears had so many nutrients in them. I did know they were very healthy but never really looked into them any further so thanks for sharing that information too.
What a great recipe and the pictures made me hungry. 🙂 Time for lunch!
Hi Melody, I hope you and your family will enjoy this lovely pear soup. My children love eating pears too and they are a better snack option for them compared to sweets and chocolates. Thanks for your comments 🙂
wow what an interesting soup! So many different flavors! I would have never thought to use fruits in a hot soup. But I love pears (I eat a lot of the ya li ones) and their sweetness must be a good mix for this soup. And I have to say that I am not familiar at all with the dried apricot kernels. I have never seen them. Are they also sweet? I love hearing about the traditional ways to use the elements and ingredients you present. Keep the traditional knowledge coming 🙂
Thanks for visiting again. Fruits taste lovely too when used in soups. Besides pears, you may also use other fruits like apples and papayas. There are 2 types of dried apricot kernels – sweet apricot kernels (nan xing/nam hung) and bitter apricot kernels (bei xing/puk hung). They do not really taste sweet. They are commonly used in soups to help relieve dry throats, coughs and lung and respiratory problems.
I’m a sweet teeth so I definitely understand how you get excited to make this soup. I think it should very delicious. The pork rib with sweet soup I should try that. I will try to make one this weekend.
Just one question, do you think it’s possible to post also a video about it? it would be very helpful during cooking.
Hi Jagulba, thanks for your comments. Currently, I do not have any videos yet but I will update you if I have one. If you need help with the recipe, you can write in and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.
wow – this looks amazing. I can see it could be a help in a medicine type way – It looks soothing just by the sight of it. I love the idea of adding the blanched pork ribs. I can imagine the smell when it’s cooking must be so lovely and fill the room. I suffer from dry skin, maybe this would help me. I will have to try this soon, so will bookmark it. Thanks for the post!!!
Thanks for visiting, Natalie. Yes, it does smell lovely in the kitchen when cooking this soup. I hope you’ll like how this soup turns out. I’m definitely going to boil this again! 🙂
Francesca Etheart says
Hello Yvonne! I really enjoy your site! Although I’m not that much into soups. Your website makes me want to try out new soups. When I cook I enjoy experimenting with different ingredients.
I see that your site have some cool ingredients! I would like to try! For instance the pear soup seems fun to try!
Everything seems good except for one thing. Your missing! I don’t see an about page. That tell your story and why you want to help me.
An about me page would really personalize your website. Good job Yvonne!
Thanks for your kind words. I’m glad you enjoy my site. My ‘About’ page is right at the bottom. I hope you’ll try out the pear soup. I’ll love to know how it turns out for you! 🙂 xx
This soup sounds absolutely delicious. I would have never thought of boiling down fruit into a soup. I have baked pears and make applesauce, but this sounds really good too. And I love all your pictures of the ingredients. Your post also flows nicely giving people a little history on what makes this soup so great before saying what is in it. I think that hooked me more. I might have to try this one.
Hi Jessica, baked pears and applesauce sounds delicious too! Hope you’ll try out the pear soup recipe. Thanks for your comments! 🙂
Oh wow, YUM! I was searching for some kind of winter food to match with a dark beer, but I came across this soup recipe. I haven’t had a Chinese sweet soup for so long, this is making my mouth water!
If I want to make this as per the recipe, I guess I need a fuzzy logic rice cooker, but I don’t know what they are or where to get them. Please help!
Haha! I’m not sure if this soup will match with a dark beer but it certainly will be delicious in any weather. 🙂
I am working on a review of the fuzzy logic rice cooker so stay tuned! In the meantime, if you wish to make this soup now, you can also use any stove top pot 🙂