Chinese soup for cold and flu season

11th November, 2009 - Posted by admin - Comments Off

Egg drop soup with ginger and garlic.

When cold and flu season moves in, having a good, quick soup recipe on hand is nearly as important as stocking up on tissues and warm socks. The best soup is one that will chase away the bugs and hopefully make you feel better at the same time – or at least less miserable.

Egg drop soup is perfect for this time of year. Quick to make, easy on a sore throat and this version is full of aromatics and anti-oxidents to help get you back on your feet. Breathing in the steam can also help clear stuffed up sinuses.

I prefer egg drop soup to classic chicken soup when sick because I find it easier to sip from a cup. It also cooks up in about twenty minutes, which is about as long as I want to be out of bed anyway.

As with all soup, start with a good stock. If homemade chicken stock isn’t available, then feel free to use store bought. You’ll still get the benefits without the work of making stock.

Traditional egg drop soup only uses green onion, garlic, ginger and egg. Because the soup is so mild, adding some carrots or a handful of green peas will increase the nutrients and make it more filling. Feel free to add as much garlic as you can stand, it’s wonderful for your immune system and great when the taste buds are shot.

Egg drop soup is very easy, but there is a trick to getting the egg in the broth. Mostly, you want the egg to stream into the broth from a height of about 8 inches. To get the thin, noodle effect, the egg should be poured through the tines of a fork or – if you’re feeling traditional – a pair of chopsticks. I use a small mesh strainer and it works fine.

The egg is added last and the soup should be off direct heat at this point. Adding the egg to boiling soup will result in either puffy egg strands or small scrambled egg bits.

The recipe also calls for a cornstarch slurry. Slurries are made by adding liquid to small amount of cornstarch, whisking that together and then adding it to the main dish. Do not add the cornstarch straight into the soup and don’t mix it with cold liquid. Warm or room temperature is fine, but cold liquid will result in lumps.

Cornstarch also tends to have a delayed release. Add it and wait a bit before adding more. You can always add more as needed, it can’t be removed if there’s too much.

Egg drop soup reheats in a microwave very well, so feel free to make a big pot and enjoy for a couple days.

Egg Drop Soup
Serves 4

4 cups chicken broth, divided
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 eggs
1 egg yolk

1. Reserve 3/4 cup of chicken broth, and pour the rest into a large saucepan. Stir the salt, ginger and chives into the saucepan, and bring to a rolling boil. In a cup or small bowl, stir together the remaining broth and cornstarch until smooth. Set aside.

2. In a small bowl, whisk the eggs and egg yolk together using a fork. Drizzle egg a little at a time from the fork into the boiling broth mixture. Egg should cook immediately. Once the eggs have been dropped, stir in the cornstarch mixture gradually until the soup is the desired consistency.

Serve hot.


Posted on: November 11, 2009

Filed under: Dinner, Soup

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