The Empress's Secret Beauty Soup
It is rumored that this soup was a favorite with a Chinese empress and the concubines in the Forbidden City.
- 1/4 cup rolled oats
- 1/4 cup wheat berries
- 1/4 cup barley
- 1/4 cup brown rice
- 1/4 cup buckwheat kasha
- 1 pound watermelon rind cut into 4-inch-long strips (about 3 cups of watermelon rind)
- 7 1/2 cups spring water
- 1/2 cup rock sugar broken into small pieces
- 2 green tea bags
In a large saucepan, combine the five grains, watermelon rind, and 6 cups of spring water. Bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to low, and simmer until the liquid is reduced to 4 cups, about 50 minutes.
In a small saucepan, combine the rock sugar, tea bags, and 1 1/2 cups of spring water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, then simmer for 2 minutes, then remove tea bags. Continue to simmer the mixture until the rock sugar dissolves.
Discard rind. Ladle soup into serving bowls, flavor with sugar and green-tea mixture. Serve warm or cold.
SourceBody+Soul, July/August 2005