Variations on a Theme: Egg Drop Soup

Egg drop soup
Image via Wikipedia

To continue the theme of spring dishes, I wanted to discuss Egg Drop Soup. This basic soup goes by many different guises, including the Chinese version that is most familiar and Stracciatella in Italy. Heartier versions with garlic, rice, spinach and even chicken can be found in many other cuisines, such as Greece and France. But in all these variations, the basic principle is the same. Chicken stock, preferably homemade, is brought to a simmer. Then beaten egg is slowly stirred into the stock with a fork off the heat, creating ribbons of scrambled egg in the soup.

Made properly, Egg Drop Soup is delicious and satisfying, and of course it can be dressed up in many different ways. This is a perfect quick dish if you’re on your own for dinner.

Basic Egg Drop Soup

Yields: 1 serving (can be doubled, tripled and so on)
Time to make: ~10 minutes (not counting time to make the stock)

Beat 1 egg lightly. Bring 1 cup chicken stock to a simmer. Remove the stock from the heat. Slowly pour in the egg, stirring the soup constantly in a circular motion with a fork, until the egg has thickened into long ribbons, 2-3 minutes.

Add any additional ingredients or flavorings as desired:

  • Chinese-style: sesame oil, soy sauce, watercress and sliced scallions
  • Italian-style: grated Parmesan
  • French-style: minced garlic simmered in the stock and fresh herbs
  • Greek-style: rice (cook it in the stock before adding the egg), spinach, a drizzle of olive oil and lemon juice; also add shredded, cooked chicken for a heartier, diner-style version
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