Healthy Chinese sweet soup.
Some Chinese possess the habit of preceding a meal with a sweet soup or drink, while others want to serve sweet, between-meal snacks. Sweet soups and drinks usually include a marrow of some sort, watercress, lotus seeds, gingko nuts, dates and one of the milder Chinese herbs. It could seem just a little confusing, too, why a distinction should exist between a sweet soup and a sweet drink when they appear so similar. There is merely one explanation because of this - tradition. The soups involved will always be served within a meal and the drinks outside mealtimes as sweet indulgence. Therefore, don't be overly bothered by the classifications herein. Suffice to learn that rock sugar is the main element ingredient in the following recipes.