Ceylon Spinach Soup

Arrowroot, Lotus Root and Groundnut Soup
July 17, 2006
Pork Chop Stack
August 8, 2006

Ceylon Spinach is known as ‘Saan Choy’ in Cantonese. Easily grown in Malaysia, this spinach has deep green leaves with bright red stems. It is popular in clear soups and has a somewhat a slippery texture when it’s cooked.

By now you would be wondering why I have here photos of borlotti beans. What has this bean got to do with this soup? Well, I kind of accidentally found out that this bean serves 2 purposes here. I actually meant for this bean to be a healthy snack for the kids, so I removed the beans from the pods and boiled them. Then I thought what a waste it would be if I were to throw away the water I boiled them in. I decided to add it to my soup as stock. What a pleasant surprise that was! It added sweetness and nutrients to the soup without changing the taste.
Love the looks of these beans in the water, don’t you? Anyway, back to my clear Ceylon Spinach soup. This soup is rich in vitamins and minerals.
1 old chicken for soup (chopped, blanched)
2 litres water
ceylon spinach (Saan Choy)
200 gm barlotti beans
3 pieces soft tofu (cut into quarters)
1 salted duck egg
sea salt to taste
  1. Boil the chicken in 2 litres of water over medium heat for 1 hour.
  2. Pull off the tender top of the ceylon spinach from the stems, then remove the leaves from the harder portion of the stems. Rinse and drain.
  3. Add the borlotti beans stock into the chicken stock and put in the ceylon spinach and tofu. Let them simmer for another 30 minutes, then crack a salted duck egg and slowly drizzle its contents into the hot boiling soup, stir slightly before cutting off the heat. (This is to get the cloud effect). If the duck egg is of good quality, you will see the orange color oil dots floating on top of the soup. (It’s lacking in my photo)
  4. Add sea salt to taste.


  1. Jackson says:

    What is the taste of this soup?

  2. Audrey Cooks says:

    natural sweetness with chicken and borlotti beans as the base stock. The ceylon spinach adds a more mellow tinge to it but to explain how it taste is kinda difficult. Try it and let me know.

  3. rokh says:

    thank you thank you! i have saw these in tesco and wondered how to cook it. now i can try it out 🙂

  4. eatzycath says:

    have yet to try borlotti beans, am very interested now having seen your shots!

  5. Audrey Cooks says:

    Eatzycath, these beans are worth a try, u may get hooked, very sweet n tasty. They are mainly used in soups and salad. In fact, Nigella has a recipe in her book “Feast” pg 374, Prawn and Bean Salad.

    Rokh, I personally grew up with this soup. I see people growing it themselves in their gardens. It grows easily in our climate.

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