Lotus Root and Peanut Soup

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Lotus Root and Peanut Soup

Temperatures soared past the 100 degree mark yesterday, making it the highest in 23 years since July 31, 1988 when it was 105°F. It was HOT! Stepping outside was like walking into a wall of hot air. It hit you right there and then and there was no escaping the heat. Good thing it only lasted a day and we are now back to the pleasant 70’s. Temperatures will continue to drop to the 60’s this weekend before climbing up again. It is like a roller coaster ride, swinging wildly up and down.

My poor irises did not stand a chance against the high temperature and dry winds. The buckets of water I poured on them did not help. It was sad. I had to cut and bring them indoors this morning. I managed to resuscitate some and they are now standing tall again in the sunroom.

Lotus Root and Peanut Soup

On such warm days, light and clear soups are a great accompaniment to a rice based meal. Clear soups quenches the thirst and clears the palate. Often times, a little soup is added to the rice to moisten it. In fact, rice in soup is the first food for many East Asian kids.

Lotus Root and Peanut Soup

Lotus root is the root of the lotus plant and is found underwater. It grows in segments and each segment has hollow tubes running through it. When sliced cross-wise into discs, it is reminiscent of telephone dials. Depending on the variety, it can have a light to reddish brown peel with a creamy colored flesh. The flavor is mildly sweet and the texture varies from crunchy to starchy. The thinner and lighter colored roots are crunchy while the thicker and darker colored roots tend to be starchy. Lotus root is a favorite ingredient in Chinese soups but it can also be used in stir-fries.

Lotus Root and Peanut Soup

There are two main categories of Chinese soups. The quick boil soup may involve a little sauteing before prepared stock is poured in. Thin slices of meat and vegetables are added to the stock and lightly cooked. Simmered soups take a longer time to prepare. All ingredients are dumped into a large pot and simmered until the flavors meld together and infuse the soup. Oil is not used and therefore there is no sauteing involved. Double-boiled soups are very similar to simmered soups except that moist heat is used to ensure gentle cooking. This method is used for herbal soups and delicate ingredients like bird’s nests and sharks fins.

Lotus Root and Peanut Soup
Lotus Root and Peanut Soup is one of my favorite simmered soups. The red dates and peanuts lend a mildly sweet flavor to the soup. The slices of lotus root are delicious eaten with a little soy sauce.

Lotus Root and Peanut Soup
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 6 to 8 servings
  • ½ cup (85g) blanched peanuts
  • 12 dried red dates
  • 1¼ lbs (600g) lotus root
  • ¾lb (350g) bone-in pork ribs**
  • 10 cups (2.5 liters) water
  • Salt
  1. Rinse and soak peanuts and red dates for 30 minutes. Drain. Peel lotus root with vegetable peeler. Slice cross-wise into ¼-inch thick slices.
  2. Place all ingredients in a large pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and allow soup to simmer for 1½ to 2 hours. Skim off scum appearing on the surface. Season with salt.
  3. Serve warm in individual bowls.
**Pork ribs may be substituted with 2 chicken carcass.

Enjoy…..and have a wonderful day! 8-)

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48 Responses

  1. Zoe says:

    Oh no…your poor little plants. Give them more water.

    I remember having these soup when I was young. They are very comforting for all weathers and occasions.

  2. I love all the interesting things you post. I have not used fresh lotus root before, just packaged in the Asian market. It looks nice in a bento too. I would love to try this soup.

    I can’t believe how hot your weather was, we have never reached 100 degrees here. I know living on the coast helps with that. So sad to see your poor irises like that.

    • Biren says:

      Thnaks Lyndsey! I am glad to know you find the posts interesting. Lotus root is one of my favorite things and fresh lotus root is much, much better than the packaged ones. Do give it a try. Yes, they look very nice in a bento. :)

      I waited the entire year for those irises and the day they bloom, they fell to the ground! Sad!

  3. Hmmm! I like you used pork ribs as broth! We use lotus root for simmmered or fried food, but soup is a good idea. Stay cool!

  4. As I read your blog, I realize how little I really know about Asian cuisine. I learn something new every day from your blogs. I have never used (or knowingly eaten) lotus root :( It actually looks so pretty. From your description I imagine that in addition to using it in soups (and yours does look lovely), it could also be roasted. Or is that a wrong assumption?

    • Biren says:

      I have never tried roasting lotus root and so I am not sure how it will turn out. It is normally boiled or simmered.

  5. Lisa H. says:

    Oh no… I can imagine how hot it is… blech … me no like summer!!!
    But your soup looks good… my kids love this soup with broiler chicken (ayam pencen) :)

  6. prathibha says:

    Nice n different soup…looks yumm

  7. Anncoo says:

    We have a nice weather today and I managed a good walk in the Botanical garden today. My family loves lotus root soup exactly like the way you’ve cooked…healthy and delicious, will cook again for this weekend :)

    • Biren says:

      We love lotus root soup too. I cook it whenever I can find nice and fresh looking lotus root. Supply for Asian ingredients here in the Midwest can be unpredictable.

  8. Rumana Rawat says:

    Very healthy and yummy…

  9. DongXing says:

    Hi Biren,

    It is so nice to visit your blog after a very hectic and manic past 4 weeks. I love the Barley Water post very much, and now this soup is just what I would love to have right now. My sort of comfort food….

    • Biren says:

      Welcome back! :) Life is hectic…wish it will slow down a little. Lotus root soup is my favorite and I can just have the soup with a little rice.

  10. kristy says:

    Are you kidding, Biren! 100 degree! Gosh, I definitely will take off my shirt. haha… Just blaughing. Honestly, 100 degree is way too hot for all of us. I’m glad everything is back to normal again. I bet the soup will helps to chill down a bit. Take care and have a lovely day.
    Best regards, Kristy

  11. Oh, your poor irises!! It is near 100 today…YUCK!

  12. Sonia says:

    HI Biren, This soup is looking absolutely delightful. Loved the new combo of ingredients and the recipe is so nicely made and presented. Saving this recipe of urs and wud love to give ur version a try on the coming weekend. Have a great day….Sonia !!!

  13. Parsley Sage says:

    Your poor irises! Bless them. At least you’ve got this lovely soup to cool ya down. I’m in Texas right now and the heat index is 115! I feel your pain :)

  14. Mina Joshi says:

    Love your article Biren. I have noticed seen lotus root in the Asian stores here. I will be more vigilant next time I go into one. We can never win with the weather – it’s either too hot or cold…It’s shame that the heat ruined your flowers.

  15. Adora's Box says:

    Lotus roots are such beautiful things. I’ve never ventured to cook them. I love this kind of soup. I learned to cook them from my mother-in-law. This is something I would love to try because it has peanuts and the red dates that I like. I would have loved to have a bowl of your soup.

  16. Liz says:

    I hope some of your cooldown reaches Indiana…I’ve never had to water so much in June! I don’t think I’ve ever seen fresh lotus root in our markets, but I’ll keep my eyes peeled. It’s so beautiful..I’d love to try it in your soup :)

  17. Jeannie says:

    Yes this soup is very familiar in my household too, my boys love it very much, also taste great if they are fried tempura style:)

  18. rebecca says:

    lovely soup need to find some lotus root so sorry about your Irises

  19. tigerfish says:

    I did a quick-boil soup (cos there was no meat in my soup) with lotus root recently ;p

  20. Shirley says:

    Lotus root is one ingredient I’m waiting to try.

  21. Lotus root is all new to me, Biren! Haven’t tried it nor do I remember seeing it before…but your soup really looks and sounds good! I’m glad to find another ingredient to try…thanks to you!

  22. This is the second lotus root soup I’ve seen today! Now I’m craving for a bowl!

  23. I cooked with lotus root once and i didn’t like it. well, that’s because i cooked it a wrong way hahaha. this soup sounds good with savory flavor!

    • Biren says:

      Hey Tanantha, good to see you here again. :) I’ve missed you. Lotus root is best cooked in a soup, simmered, or stir-fried. Do give it another try.

  24. kristy says:

    Biren dear, I have some awards for you. Please feel free to hop over to collect it.
    cheers, Kristy

  25. Claudia says:

    Your poor Irises – that day was something. I watered my plants three times to keep them going – and the winds – horrendous. I love how you fashionmed a succulent, delectable soup out of that day. It looks so refreshing. Where did you get the lotus root?

    • Biren says:

      Oh yes…the winds were so strong and dry that day, the irises didn’t stand a chance. I bought the lotus root at the Shanghai Market in Hopkins.

  26. pachecopatty says:

    The lotus root is beautiful, I’ve never tried it before, looks good in the soup. Oh, your poor overheated iris plant;(
    I’m glad the temperature dropped and it was revived;-)

  27. I have never had lotus root before. It looks so interesting and pretty! Great soup!

  28. lovely presentation we make lotus root differently

  29. Wow, what an unusual combination of ingredients! I’ve discovered lotus root only recently, but I find them quite yummy, and they’re so pretty and add so much beauty to every dish! :)

  30. Manu says:

    This is such an interesting post! I have to admit that I do not know Chinese cuisine very well… so this was really informative for me. The lotus root looks so beautiful! I am sure this soup is amazing!

  31. Wow! Your poor flowers – what a sad picture! At least the soup looks happy. I’ve never seen lotus root. I love visiting your blog. I always learn something new. I hope it cools off for you, and warms up for us here in Seattle. Maybe we could share the heat!

  32. Kay Ecker says:

    Your poor irises! At least you were able to revive them inside the house :o) I love lotus root and porky broth…it all looks so yummy!

  33. I have never cooked or eaten lotus root. I had no idea it is actually edible. Oops.
    Love it’s look with those tiny holes :)
    Thanks for sharing Biren, hope it cools down in your area

  34. PolaM says:

    My plants suffered too…. But now it seems they are doing quite well….

    The soups looks great!

  35. Jay says:

    absolutely yummy presentation..love d clicks..:)
    Tasty Appetite

  36. This is something that I have not tried before but would love to! Such a beautiful soup :)

  37. Lyn says:

    Beautiful lotus root and peanut post! I love the way you described it when sliced-it is reminiscent of telephone dials! I’ve never thot of that which is so true! ;)

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