There is nothing I find more comforting than a bowl of hot soup, which I attribute to my mom's Cantonese roots. Growing up, we had a bowl of soup as an accompaniment to almost every home-cooked meal, ranging from pork ribs with lotus root, watercress, carrot and beef... I remember that after family holidays abroad, my sisters and I would be filled with excitement on the journey home from the airport, knowing that hot soup would be on the table to welcome us home.
Whether it's nostalgia or plain preference, in my opinion there is little that a piping hot bowl of soup cannot remedy. While I don't often simmer soups for hours the way it was done in my childhood, this recipe satisfies my frequent cravings for nutritious and comforting soup, and takes just about an hour from start to end. I like to add mountain yam (Nagaimo) for heft and textural variety, but pretty much any kind of root vegetable will work perfectly here. The onion melts into the soup giving it sweetness, the dried scallop and dashi give the broth a deep umami flavor, and the tender chicken meat and vegetables make it a well-rounded and filling meal. Paired with white rice, this dish is a weekday dinner staple in my home!