Monday, October 6, 2014

Egg Drop Soup

October has always been my favorite month. It's not just that it's my birthday month, although I'm sure that was a contributing factor when I was a kid. It's because this is when autumn, my favorite season, really kicks into full gear.

Growing up on the East Coast, in the woods, fall always meant raking leaves and then jumping into the leaf mountains (we had so many trees in the yard that there were no mere leaf piles for us!). It meant Dad wheeling us around the yard in the wheelbarrow. It meant that special crispness in the air that you can almost taste.

October was also the month that meant great things on the food front. We learned to make apple cider from apples we had picked ourselves. Mom taught me how to make apple dumplings (which I still make in lieu of birthday cake) with pastry crust so thick and flaky you just can't get enough of it. We toasted the pumpkin seeds we scraped out before making jack-o-lanterns, then ate them like popcorn. Hayrides and bonfires and marshmallows toasted in the great outdoors - this is the legacy of growing up in the country.

This October, I looked forward to all of this and more. Unfortunately, I started the month off with the head cold from hell. I'm a big snotty, coughing mess right now, so I can't even enjoy the smell of fall in the air.

When I was a kid, my mom always made me chicken broth to drink out of a cup by straining the noodles and chicken out of Campbell's Chicken Noodle Soup (don't ask me why, but it worked). As an adult, the sheer saltiness of condensed soup actually has the opposite effect on me. I vastly prefer to go buy a jug (aka, a quart) of egg drop soup from my neighbor's restaurant. Yesterday, that's all I could think about - drowning myself in the smooth egg-y splendor (and breathing, but that wasn't going to happen).

Except, I'm not eating out these days. Darn those New Year's resolutions!

So, the dilemma: violate my principles and just buy the stupid soup, or come up with an alternate solution.

The answer: You know, I bet I could make my own egg drop soup.

Even when sick, I'm determined to have a little adventure...

Egg Drop Soup

4 cups chicken broth
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp ginger
2 Tbsp green onions, chopped (about 2-3)
2 eggs
3 tsp cornstarch
  1. In a medium saucepot, combine 3 1/4 cups of the broth, salt, and ginger. Bring to a rolling boil. Add the onions.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the remaining 3/4 cup broth and the cornstarch. Pour into the boiling soup mixture.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk eggs til thoroughly beaten. Using the whisk or a fork, drizzle the egg mixture into the boiling soup mixture. Eggs should cook instantly.
  4. Spoon into bowls and serve while hot.
**Lessons learned: I added the cornstarch mixture last, because that's what the recipe I was using as a guide called for. However, this left the texture a bit chunky, rather than smooth like I'm used to in restaurants. After doing a bit more research, many people suggested adding the cornstarch BEFORE the eggs, so I've altered this recipe accordingly. Let me know how yours turns out!

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