Dessert soup is not a common concept in North American cookery but it’s ubiquity in Cantonese dessert is on par with cakes in the Western sweet kitchen. Food plays a strong role in the traditional Chinese holistic approach to health. Of course in addition to savoury soup, there is a dessert soup suitable for every ailment, seasonal change, and enrichment for the body. I never quite understand this holistic perspective. To me, dessert soup is simply an appropriate end to a meal or a great option for late night snack.
The natural sweetness of fruit means that they are better enjoyed fresh as nature intended. Therefore you would not find much dessert soup made with fruit. So what goes in dessert soup? The usual suspects run the gamut of whole grains, beans, root vegetable, and nuts. I can understand why they never quite gain the popularity of savoury Chinese dishes in the Western world. The concept of using these “side dish” ingredients in a dessert application is just too far off to appeal to the masses. However, since I was brought up on dessert soup, I love them just as much any cookies, brownies, cakes, and puddings.