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Egg Drop Soup

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I want to tell you about the incredible egg drop soup recipe I came up with. Warm, comforting, energizing, just spicy enough.

I’ve always loved egg drop soup, or, more accurately, what I always thought egg drop soup ought to be. Unfortunately, it seems to have gotten worse over the years. I order it with high hopes with Chinese food, but it arrives as a useless chemical concoction of flavorings and cornstarch thickening. With a perfectly nice egg, cooked to a lovely lacyness, wasted in this sea of fabricated foodstuff.

One day I experimented with some homemade chicken stock I had made the day before. When I pulled it from the refrigerator it was thick with natural gelatin, almost as solid as Jell-O. The color was a deep tan. I wanted to make a simple chicken soup with it, but I had no chicken on hand. I was doing an ultra-low-carb thing at the time, so noodles were out of the picture, too. Then I thought of egg drop soup.

Before you heat it and add the seasoning, the stock will taste like greasy nothing. That’s OK. With heat and salt, the texture will become velvety and good and the taste will fairly burst from the spoon.

Before you add the egg, the soup will taste as if you’ve seasoned and salted it too aggressively. That’s OK. Egg takes up seasoning and salt.

If you use commercial stock, you’ll need to reduce the salt you add to make up for what’s already in it.

Don’t keep boiling after the egg is cooked, or it’ll become tough, and the egg’s delicate flavor will be lost.

If you’re serving more than one, make separate servings in succession.

Egg Drop Soup
The recipe

  • 1 cup homemade chicken stock
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • grindings of pepper
  • light shake of red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 egg, beaten just enough to combine yolk and white thoroughly

In a narrow, deep saucepan, combine all ingredients except the egg. Simmer for about five minutes, to combine flavors.

Turn heat to the highest and bring to a rapid boil. Stir the soup rapidly, so that it whirls and ideally dips like a funnel in the center.

Pour the egg in a thin stream into the soup, allowing it to whirl around. It will cook as it enters the water.

Immediately transfer the soup to a bowl and enjoy.

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