A very nice tasting winter melon soup!
It has been more than a year since I have posted a winter melon soup recipe and this is the first periwinkle recipe in this food blog. There is only one way that I could have come up with this tasty idea of combining these two items. That was by shopping at a great Vietnamese market in Las Vegas yesterday! I seem to get good recipe ideas when I shop at the local specialty markets.
Periwinkles are a very nice tasting small sea snail. The flavor is very clean and not muddy at all. The delicate flavor of periwinkles seemed like a good match for the light savory flavor of winter melon soup.
The nice mild complex flavor of Vietnamese perilla herb really added a nice finishing touch. Fresh herbs are commonly served with soups in Vietnamese cuisine. They are meant to be stirred into the soup to add a fresh crisp herb flavor.
Ginkgo nuts have a nice delicate flavor of their own. Ginkgo nuts are a strong antioxidant and they help to boost the immune system. Lemongrass creates a nice broth flavor for winter melon. Lemongrass is a key herb in Vietnamese cuisine.
Put it all together and this is a very tasty healthy soup!
Lemongrass Winter Melon Soup with Periwinkles, Ginkgo Nuts and Vietnamese Perilla Recipe:
This recipe makes 1 large bowl of soup! Three cups of broth may seem like a lot, but after simmering, some of the liquid will evaporate. Evaporation or reduction is figured into all of my soup recipes.
Tie 1 shoot of lemongrass into a simple knot.
Place the lemongrass knot into a pot.
Add 3 cups of light chicken broth.
Place the pot over medium high heat.
Bring the broth to a gentle boil.
Reduce the temperature to low heat.
Add 1/2 teaspoon of ginger paste.
Add sea salt and white pepper.
Simmer the broth for 10 to 15 minutes, till lemongrass flavor infuses with the broth.
Add 1 large handful of winter melon that is cut into cube shaped large bite size pieces.
Add 3 to 4 ounces of poached periwinkles that are sliced into bite size pieces. (Poached shelled periwinkles can be purchased at asian markets. Fresh live periwinkles in their shells are available too.)
Add 6 peeled fresh ginkgo nuts.
Gently simmer the soup, till the winter melon becomes tender.
Simmer till the winter melon turns from opaque to a translucent color.
Remove the lemongrass knot.
Ladle the soup into a bowl.
Float a few very thin slices of onion on the surface of the soup.
Place Vietnamese perilla leaves around the soup against the edge of the soup bowl.
Honestly, I was very pleased with the flavor of this soup! There is not a long list of ingredients in this soup, but the balance of flavor was very nice. This soup has a delicate flavor that brings on a smile! Yum! ... Shawna