Pears are considered a major healing food for the Autumn season in Chinese Medicine. Pears have the quality of clearing heat, moistening and clearing phlegm from the Lungs. Pear Soup is considered helpful to strengthen the Lungs, prevent colds and coughs, and speed up the healing of colds and coughs. Combined with honey, this recipe is soothing for sore throats and dry throats.
Since it has a moistening effect, It is especially good for people with a tendency of dryness such as those with dry sore throat, dry cough, or dry skin. I often recommend it to smokers or those quitting smoking. But really, it’s appropriate for everyone.
Traditionally, the recipe is made with pears cooked in water and sweetened with rock sugar. My recipe is a lot more flavorful with the benefits of creating an immune-boosting poaching liquid made with spices and herbs.
I like to eat this as an after-dinner dessert, but I have also had it as a warm addition to breakfast and as a snack.
2 large or 4 small pears, any variety (I particularly like Bosc pears in this recipe), peeled, cored, and each pear cut into 4 or 6 slices
1 cinnamon stick
2 thin slices of fresh ginger (each ginger piece the size of a quarter coin)
1 vanilla pod
raw local honey, to taste
a squeeze of fresh lemon, to taste
optional herbs: 10 goji berries, 5 pieces of chuan bei mu (fritillary bulb), 1 slice of dried astragalus
Bring pears, cinnamon, ginger, vanilla and optional herbs to a boil in 4 cups of water (or a little more water if needed, use enough water to cover the pears). Reduce heat and simmer on medium low, covered, for about 30 minutes.
Serve in individual bowls. Each serving should have slices of pear and the cooking liquid served warm or cool. (Before serving, discard the cinnamon, ginger and vanilla. The optional herbs can be separated out as well, but some people enjoy eating them, especially the goji berries- just be careful not to burn your tongue because the goji berries can get very hot!).)
Add honey to sweeten to taste. Add a squeeze of fresh lemon to taste.
Store the liquid, fruit and spices in a glass storage container in the refrigerator. Keeps for about 3 days.