Cantonese summer dessert soup – Winter Gourd and Beans Soup


Published: July 16, 2020

Soup and tongsui (desert soup) are so important in Cantonese food culture. Cantonese believe in consuming food according to the season changes, weather condition and health condition. In a long and humid summer, invigorating spleen function, promoting urination, removing heat and facilitating the drainage of pus are most essential. There are various savoury soup or dessert soup recipes for fulfilling such purposes. This winter gourd and beans soup is the one I make the most. Winter gourd is commonly seen at farmer’s market all year round especially in summertime. Cantonese are so familiar with these beans. They should be easily found in any Chinese grocery stores worldwide. Don’t hesitate to ask sales assistant for help.

I usually make a big pot of such dessert soup and chill in fridge, have it after dinner, for afternoon tea, or fill it in my water bottle, drink whenever I want. Thus I wouldn’t season it with too much sugar, just to add a hint of sweetness. Beans and winter gourd have natural sweetness. With the same ingredients, you could make savoury soup. Season it with salt then you would have vegan soup or cook with pork bones or pork ribs.

Ingredients – for 6 serving

How to do –
1. Beans washed in running water;
2. Winter gourd washed, cut off the thick peel and seeds, but keep the peel; flesh cut into cubes;

3. Put all ingredients, gourd cubes, peels, beans and chenpi, in a big soup pot, pour in 1.5L of water, lid on and bring to boil in high heat then simmer in medium low heat for at least an hour till beans cooked to tender;

4. Removed the peels and chen-pi; season with sugar but not too much; heat off and let the sugar melt; chilled in fridge.


  • 冬瓜 1千克
  • 眉豆 70克
  • 赤小豆 70克
  • 薏米 70克
  • 陈皮 1块
  • 片糖 1块
  • 水 1.5升


  1. 挑去坏豆,冲洗,沥水;
  2. 冬瓜洗干净,切去皮和囊,冬瓜肉切大粒,皮留用,冬瓜皮的功效不亚于冬瓜肉;
  3. 全部材料放进大汤锅内,放一块陈皮去寒增香,加1.5升水,如果要当冬瓜水喝的朋友可以再多加水;大火煮沸后转中小火煲一小时至豆煮软即可;
  4. 把陈皮和瓜皮夹出;
  5. 放一块片糖,或者按喜好放糖调味。如果当祛湿水喝的朋友可以不放糖,食材本身有天然的甜味。关火让糖自然融化。最后放糖,糖水不会发酸;夏天我会做多一些放冰箱里喝好几天。

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