Fresh Matrimony Vine Leaves Soup, Kou Kee Chye Soup

These vegetables are fast. Fast to cook. It took me less than 30 seconds to solely cook these vegetables. Holy matrimony! Ha...I really love to play with these words "matrimony", "macaroni". These vegetables are known as Fresh Matrimony Vine Leaves - 枸杞叶 (Kou Kee Chye in Hokkien dialect). New. Strange.

Perfectly infused. Comfortably delicious. Supremely healthy...

They are not new or strange if you can associate with Gojiberry/Wolfberry. These are the leaves of the "super berry" plant, YES YES YES...and being the leaves of this "super berry", the leaves cannot be anyway inferior to the berries? YES YES YES...BUT

They are thorny...OUCH!

Pluck off the leaves (the young shoots as a leaf vegetable) from the thorny stalks.

This vegetable is rich in Vitamin A, Beta-Carotene, Iron; and often used in soups with pork liver as a cure for anaemia, almost similar as Spinach. Hmmm...ladies, the iron is good for you :D

I do not cook pork liver at home, so I make an everyday chicken soup with mushrooms, ginger, and some gojiberries, then make Matrimony Vine Leaves Soup from it.

5 cups of fresh leaves, blanched or cooked 30 seconds in chicken soup yielded to about 3 cups of cooked leaves...

Fresh Matrimony Vine Leaves (Kou Kee Chye) Soup - cooked with Chicken Bones
Ingredients: 3 chicken carcass bones, parboiled (Note 1: to remove the scum and yield a "clear" soup); 2-cm knob ginger, slightly crushed; 5-6 fresh shitake mushroom caps, thinly sliced; 1 tablespoons dried gojiberries, rehydrated in the water/or broth (Note 2: once the chicken soup is cooked, 1 tablespoons of the soup can be ladled into a small bowl containing gojiberries and allow the berries to soak for about 5 minutes and rehydrate); about 5 to 6 cups of gently rinsed matrimony leaves (yielded from approximately the size of 1 standard package sold in supermarket); salt to taste

Directions: Lay the parboiled chicken carcass and ginger into a pot and add water to immerse the chicken. Turn on heat and wait for it to boil. Once boiling, turn down the heat and simmer at low heat. (Note 2a: You can now ladle 1 tablespoon of soup to rehydrate the gojiberries). While simmering, add in the leaves to the soup just like how you blanch vegetables. The leaves will cook in 30 seconds or less. (Note 3: The leaves turn fast to yellow if you overcook them). Scoop the leaves out immediately and set aside in a plate or bowl. (Note 4: When you add the leaves into the soup to blanch, they will not sink to the bottom of the pot. Rather, they will float at the surface. As the leaves are small in size, you can scoop out these vegetables with the help of a fork which will just "catch" the leaves, and strain the soup liquid back to the pot). Then add in the mushrooms, and rehydrated gojiberries and continue simmering for about 30 minutes for all the flavor infusion. Turn off heat. (Note 5: Remove the chicken carcass bones and shred some meat from them. Set side the shredded meat and personally, I threw carcass bones (really the remains this time) back into the soup and just let the flavors sink in further).

Frankly, this 30-second is the only time you need to "eyeball" that pot of soup. I am amazed and surprised that even though the leaves were only in the soup for 30 seconds, the soup actually tasted of the vegetables. Just a light bittersweet taste of the vegetables and not overpowering.

If I cook chicken soup, the tendency is for me to make a one-dish meal on the same day. Cook some somen/mee suah (noodles) and set aside on bowl. Add the vegetables which was set aside earlier to the noodles. Before serving, warm up the soup and ladle over the noodles and vegetables. And surprise, surprise, once you taste the soup - you will affirm the embodiment of Fresh Matrimony Leaves in the chicken soup.

Perfectly infused. Comfortably delicious. Supremely healthy.

Fresh Matrimony Leaves will be my feature for Weekend Herb Blogging - WHB #235 this week, with host, Haalo from Cook Almost Anything.

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