Soups are delicious accompaniments to meals in many Chinese families. Most are concoctions of several types of herbs stewed with pork or chicken. In the olden days before the proliferation of gas stoves, it was simmered in unglazed clay pots over charcoal stoves. The soup pots are similar to tea pots, only larger in size. They have a funnel for the steam to escape and later to pour the soup out. However these clay pots are fragile and break easily. My soups are usually cooked in stainless steel pots or in the slow cooker.
Such herbal stews will feature prominently in my diet when I begin to cook later. They are easy to make. They usually consist of three or more herbs. Once, it was only available from Chinese medical halls. However prepacked herbs are conveniently available in most supermarkets nowadays. There are different herbal recipes for different conditions. With the varieties available, one can practically have different soups for each day of the week.
The ones that I cook are usually for general health and very easy to make. Sometimes I stew the herbs without meat. The times that I did, they are parboiled to remove the froth that usually forms when cooking with pork. Although I like to drink soups, I am not fond of drinking too much of it. The norm for me is one packet of herbs stewed in three bowls of water and let simmer for an hour on medium fire. If the slow cooker is used, they are usually left to simmer for four hours with the same amount of liquid. Nothing beats a bowl of warm herbal stew after a good meal. Hopefully that will return some of the vigour that I used to enjoy.