Egg Drop Soup
We have a favorite Chinese restaurant that we frequent enough they know how many places to set for us when we come. I have really begun to enjoy their soups. Usually I would just pick the wonton soup which came with the meal. Lately, however I have just been ordering the soup for my main dish. No matter which one I try they are simply a healthy and delicious choice. A bonus, I have started to drop some of those extra pounds I gained over this past year while still feeling satisfied.
It all led me to wonder if I could replicate these wonderful recipes at home. Success was had last week with my first attempt at Egg Drop Soup. We had purchased a whole roasted chicken from the store for dinner and I used the bones as a start for my chicken stock. I had read somewhere that roasted chicken makes a really good stock, so I was excited to give it a try.
I found several recipes for making a chicken stock online, everybody claims there is the best of course. I usually end up combining various recipes according to what I have on hand and here is what I ended up with for the base of my soup: Chicken Stock Recipe. This recipe produced 8 cups of stock for me.
I did decide to give it a go in my crock pot, since it was late evening by the time I got this started and I really wanted to make my soup the next day for dinnner. I am not always the most patient person, and this stock cooking overnight made it really hard for my husband to sleep as the house just smelled so good. The following is the recipe I came up with followed with the details of the process I used. There is a link at the bottom of the page for the printable version.
4 cups chicken broth (homemade or store bought with no/low sodium)
1/2 cup diced ham or bacon
6 green onions, thinly sliced and seperating the white parts from the green
1 inch piece of ginger, finely grated
1 teaspoon whole peppercorns
4 teaspoons cornstarch
2 whole eggs
-Bring stock to a boil in a saucepan.
-Add ham and the white parts of the green onions. Place ginger and peppercorns in a tea ball or spice bag and add to soup. Reduce heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes. If you prefer to have a clear broth you can pour the soup through a strainer before proceeding.
-Season to taste with salt.
-Combine 1 tablespoon of the cornstarch with about a tablespoon of water in a small bowl and mix until smooth. Whisk this into the soup and let it simmer for a minute or two.
-Whisk together the eggs with the remaining teaspoon of cornstarch until well blended.
-Swirl the soup with a large spoon to get it moving in the saucepan.
-hold the tines of a fork over the edge of the bowl with the egg mixture and slowly drizzle the egg into the saucepan.
-Allow soup to sit for about 20 seconds, then stir gently to break up the egg to desired size.
-Serve with green parts of onion sprinkled over the top.
For my Egg Drop Soup I started with 4 cups of homemade chicken stock and brought it to a boil for two minutes.
Next I added some pre-cooked bacon pieces, the white parts of the green onions, some ginger and the peppercorns. I had a tube of Gourmet Garden's ginger in the fridge and squeezed in about a tablespoon worth. I love Gourmet Garden products and usually have a tube of this and one of lemongrass on hand in my fridge.
I simmered this for about 20 minutes. Most of the recipes I read said to strain the soup at this point. Others did not for a heartier version. Since I was planning to serve this as our main course I did not strain it. That did mean that you occasionally came across a peppercorn, my husband just eats them-I left them in my bowl. (I realized later that I should have added my spices to a tea ball or spice bag and this would have easily solved the problem of biting into a peppercorn.)
The next step was to whisk some cornstarch into the soup: I mixed the cornstarch with about a tablespoon of cold water until it was pastelike. Once that was accomplished, I whisked it into the soup and simmerd for a couple of minutes.
Now came the fun part: adding the eggs. There was very little variation in recipes at this point except for the number of eggs to use. I went with two and that was plenty for Ken and I. I whisked the eggs in a bowl with the rest of the cornstarch. According to one source the reason for this is that the cornstarch in the eggs inhibits protein bonds and keeps the eggs from going rubbery. I cannot speak to that, but the eggs did come out very nice.
With the soup still simmering at this point, I stirred the soup until it was swirling around the pot pretty well. Holding the tines of a fork over the bowl with the egg mixture I slowly drzzled it into the soup. This was simmered for a few seconds and then I gave my soup a stir until the egg was broken up into the size I desired.
Sprinkling a little of the green onions on top made for a pretty little presentation.
I served this along with my Coconut Rice recipe and we were both quite satisfied.
This soup was so good that when went back to our favorite little restaurant a few days ago I was disappointed with the soup I ordered. It was still very good of course, but I actually think mine was better.
食福 (chia̍h hok) - Eat well, enjoy good food
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I love to cook - my family loves to eat- we are a match made in heaven
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