Having a Chinese Shepherds Purse egg soup is a folk custom on the third of March (三月三) in Chinese Lunar calendar. Th soup with shepherds is a healthy Chinese homemade soup with a lovely earthy smell. With spring approaching, this is time to make this soup.
I still remember this soup even I haven’t had it since I came to the UK. Back home in China, every year Lunar calendar the third of March, my parents would make this soup.
This Shepherds Purse Egg Soup recipe is sent to me by my parents because they know I am gathering Chinese home cooking recipes for my website. So they not only took the photos and wrote a short description for it. I really appreciated their effort.
This Shepherds Purse soup is made together with the dried Chinese jujube, ginger and egg. According to my father says, the soup can cool the heat, nourish the blood and improve the health and longevity. Sounds amazing, right? :)
The soup is slightly sweet, with the cooked eggs soaked in the Shepherds Purse soup for 3-4 hours. I like that it actually has a special earthy smell and tastes so fresh.
Capsella bursa-pastoris, or Shepherds Purse is translated as Ji Cai 荠菜 in Chinese. In China, it is considered as a wild grown plant (野菜). Back to early days, we could find this in the field or garden. But nowadays, buildings everywhere, it becomes harder to find them in the city.
Chinese dried jujubes (红枣), which are often used as an ingredient in Chinese homemade soup.
Prep Time: 5 mins Cook Time: 20 mins (served in 3-4 hours later)
• Wash and clean the Shepherds Purse, keep the roots on.
• Cut the jujube's surface so its sweetness will be in the soup.
• Cut the ginger or smack it.
• Add cold water into a sauce pan. Then add Chinese Shepherds Purse, eggs, dried jujubes and ginger. Bring the water to the boil.
• Once the eggs are cooked, take the eggs out. Wait till the eggs cool, break the eggs' shell. You may either keep or remove the eggs' shell. Here my parents kept the shell.
• Put the eggs back into the soup. Continue to cook for another 10 minutes.
• Turn off the heat, let the soup cool down. Wait for about 3-4 hours, so the eggs are soaked in the soup and get all flavour inside.
• The Chinese shepherds purse egg soup can be served hot once reheated, or served cold if in the summer. Because of jujube, the soup is slightly sweet. Add bit sugar if you like it to be sweeter.
So, it is so simple to make right? Next time, I will pay attention to my back garden to see if I can find some of Shepherd’s Purse, and try to make this myself:)
Hope you like the Chinese Shepherds Purse egg soup. Please share with friends :)
(Posted: 07/05/15; Update: 10/04/18)