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Winter Melon Soup

Categories: Cold Damp Distressing Spleen, Spleen Damp, Spleen Qi Vacuity

Winter Melon Soup
3-4 Servings

Winter melon, or wax gourd, is a fruit that is cooked and eaten as a vegetable due to its flavor.

1 cup winter melon (1/2 pound)
2 cups chicken broth
4 Chinese dried black mushrooms
2 – 3 slices fresh ginger
1/4 cup cooked ham, diced
1 green onion (green part only) cut into 1-inch pieces
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Wash the winter melon, remove the green skin, seeds, and the pulp. Cut into 2-inch pieces.
2. Reconstitute the Chinese dried mushrooms by soaking in hot water for 20 minutes until softened. Squeeze out any excess water.
3. Place the winter melon in a pot of water, bring to a boil, and simmer for approximately 20 minutes or until the winter melon is tender.
4. Add the chicken broth, mushrooms, ginger and cooked ham. Add seasonings as desired. Simmer for about 20 minutes. Add green onion for garnish. Serve hot.

Add barbecued shrimp.
Add other vegetables such as bamboo shoots, carrots, or squash.

(Recipe modified from Rhonda Parkinson on

TCM Analysis:
Winter melon: Bland, slightly cold; LU, SP/ST, UB. Promote urination, reduce edema, expel phlegm, stop cough, improve metabolism.
Black mushrooms: Neutral, sweet; ST, KD. Strengthen ST, lower blood pressure, tonify qi/blood, clear toxins, promotes digestion, strengthens immunity.
Ginger: Warm, acrid; LU, SP, ST. Release exterior WC, stop nausea/vomiting, reduce inflammation, detoxify.
Ham: Neutral, sweet, salty; KD, SP, ST. Nourish yin.
Green onion: Warm, acrid; LU, LI. Release exterior WC, invigorate blood, drain damp.

Overall, this recipe is for MJ weakness and damp accumulation. Even though the ham is generally not recommended in this pattern, a small amount is added for flavor and as a balance to the other key ingredients.

Beef Pumpkin Soup

Categories: Cold Damp Distressing Spleen, Spleen Damp, Spleen Damp Cold, Spleen Qi Vacuity

Very interesting, tasty looking recipe. How would you explain the use of beer in this to help promote digestion and aid rather than create dampness? Due to fermentation and balance in recipe…?

Cheryl Kujawinski said:

Beef Pumpkin Soup
Serves 8Ingredients:
2 pounds beef chuck, cut into one-inch cubes
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1cup onion, diced
2cups peeled pie pumpkin, cut into cubes
2 cups carrot, peeled and diced
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
1/2 quarts beef stock
1 12-oz bottle (Red Stripe) Lager Beer
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons black pepper
2 teaspoons grated ginger root

Heat oil to medium in a large soup pot. Dredge beef in the flour and brown meat on all sides, removing meat as it browns. Pour off any remaining fat from pot and return meat, adding the beef stock and beer. Add to the pot the parsley and onion; cover & bring to a simmer, cooking for 40 minutes. Add remaining ingredients to pot and continue to simmer for 20 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Re-season as necessary.

TCM Summary: Overall, this recipe is slightly warmer in nature to break up phlegm and dispel dampness encumbered by the Spleen and the Stomach. This recipe also helps to build the Qi and promote digestion to avoid the build up of dampness in the body, thus avoiding the phlegm build up that can occur and cause blockages.

Curry Favor Pumpkin Soup

Categories: Bi Syndrome Cold, Cold Damp Distressing Spleen, Diabetes, Spleen Damp, Spleen Damp Cold

Curry Favor Pumpkin Soup 2 servings

10-12 ounces pumpkin or winter squash, such as Japanese kabocha (about 2 cups when cubed)
2 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
2 tablespoons vegetable oil, such as canola or olive
1 small onion, diced
1-2 teaspoons curry powder
Pinch of salt
Pinch of pepper

Chop the pumpkin pieces into 1-inch cubes, seeded and peeled. (Some pumpkins are quite tough and most easily handled by chopping the pumpkin into two, seeding it, then cutting it into wedges before peeling. A large, sharp cleaver can be helpful with this task; another handy trick is to put the pumpkin in the microwave for 5 minutes to soften it before cutting and peeling. The seeds can be reserved for roasting.)

Place the pumpkin cubes and stock in a pot. Bring to a boil, then lower heat to low and simmer for about 20 minutes.

Heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and curry powder. Cook until the onions are translucent and soft (about 5 minutes).

When both the onions and pumpkin are done, combine them in a blender or food processor. Whir into a smooth puree. You can also use a hand blender or immersion blender for this task.

Add salt and pepper to taste.

Pumpkin-sweet, warm; SP/ST; supplement MJ, expel parasites, protect prostate, analgesic
Chicken Stock-chicken is sweet, warm; SP/ST/KD; supplement qi, nourish blood, consolidate KD, boost wei qi
Vegetable Oil-moistening
Onion-pungent, neurtral; LU/ST/LI; clear heat, relieve toxicity, transform phlegm and damp, kill parasites, lower BP and cholesterol
Salt-salty, cold; KD; clear heat, cool blood, ease bowel movements, nourish KD
Pepper-pungent, warm; ST/LI; warm MJ, descend ST qi, expel damp and cold

Addresses SP xu, damp painful bi and blockage of channels.

Especially good for anyone with diabetes, arthritis or other inflammatory condition, muscle stiffness and pain, a tendency to run cold or fibromyalgia.

Beef Congee

Categories: Bi Syndrome Cold, Cold Damp Distressing Spleen, Kidney Jing Vacuity, Kidney Yang Vacuity, Spleen Qi Vacuity, Spleen Yang Vacuity

Beef Congee (Serves 8-10)
Ingredients: 1 cup raw brown rice, ½ lb. ground beef, 2 TB olive oil, 2 garlic cloves, minced, 10 cups water, 1 ½ TB soy sauce, Toppings: scallions, cilantro, ginger
Directions: Wash rice, drain, and repeat 3 more times until water runs clear. Marinate beef in soy sauce for 10 minutes. Heat a large stockpot over medium-high heat with 2 TB olive oil. When hot, add the ground beef and garlic. Fry until ground beef is browned. Add water, soy sauce and rice. Turn heat to high. When boiling, immediately turn heat to low. Simmer for 40 minutes. Serve with toppings.
Analysis of Recipe:
Brown rice: neutral, sweet, strengthens spleen, nourished stomach, quenches thirst, relieves irritability, astringes intestines, stops diarrhea
Beef: warm, sweet, tonifies qi and blood, strengthens spleen and stomach, dispels dampness, relieves edema, strengthens bones and tendons
Garlic: hot, pungent, anti-viral, anti-fungal, detoxifies meat and seafood, kills worms, removes stagnant food and stagnant blood, reduces abscesses
Soy sauce: cool, sweet, clears heat, detoxifies, eases urination, and lubricates lungs and intestines
Scallions: hot, pungent, expels external pathogens, dispels wind and cold, induces swelling, anti-viral, anti-bacterial
Cilantro: slightly cool, pungent, promotes sweating, strengthens digestion, promotes the flow of qi
Ginger: warm, pungent, promotes sweating, anti-toxin, antidote for seafood poisoning, benefits lungs and stomach, expels pathogen