I never tried egg drop soup as a kid, mostly because I was entirely too suspicious of its appearance.  (This suspicion kept me from lots of perfectly good food as a kid, but what can you do?)  :-)  When my brother and I decided to experiment with Asian soups, though, egg drop soup was the obvious first choice — it looked simple but tasty, and seemed like a good way to get some protein and vegetables into our diet without having to force-feed ourselves foods we didn’t much care for.  :-)

It turns out the internet can tell you a billion and one ways to make egg drop soup; everyone’s version is different, and in that sense there’s nothing special about mine.  :-)  When adjusting the contents and flavors of this recipe, I was shooting for something that covered both “tasty hot broth-y soup with ginger in it” and “good working substitute for chicken noodle soup for sick people.”  Make some bread or crackers to go with it and this egg drop soup makes a good light meal, or a hearty appetizer.

Egg Drop Soup

Yield:  4-6 servings

Ingredients:

  • 8 cups vegetable broth ( = 8 cups water and 1 T liquid vegetable stock or 1 bouillion cube vegetable stock)
  • 1 to 1 1/2 T tamari soy sauce
  • white pepper, to taste
  • salt, to taste
  • 1 to 1 1/2 inches ginger root
  • 6-8 whole cloves
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 spring onion
  • 6 eggs

Directions:

1.  In a medium to medium-large pot with lid, heat the vegetable broth, seasoned with the soy sauce, white pepper, and salt.  Don’t go overboard with any seasonings at this point — as the soup simmers the flavors will all strengthen and develop over time.  Bring the broth to a gentle simmer.

2.  On a cutting board, peel the ginger root with a vegetable peeler (and if you like the smell of ginger as much as my brother and I do, take a deep cleansing breath!), and dice the ginger into fairly small chunks (as pictured).  Exactly how much ginger root you want to use will depend first on how strong you want the taste to be in the finished soup, and second on how big a spice or tea ball you have to fit the ginger into!  This spice ball is a little too full — you want to leave a little more room for the broth to get into the ball and circulate around the ginger as the soup simmers — but, I’m getting ahead of myself.

3.  Add the cloves to the spice ball with the diced ginger, and immerse the spice ball in the broth.  Simmer covered for 30 minutes or so.  Make sure to taste the broth at least every 10 minutes; as the broth simmers, the ginger and cloves will get stronger and stronger, and it’ll become clearer if you want to add more soy sauce, salt, or pepper.

4.  While the soup’s simmering, prep the rest of the ingredients.  Peel and grate the carrot, and chop up the spring onion.  (I like to push apart the rings of the bulb of the onion, so it’ll spread out more evenly in the soup.)  In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the six eggs and set aside (keep the whisk!).

5.  Once the broth is ready, carefully fish out the spice ball and set it aside.  Add the grated carrot and diced onion to the broth and simmer for 5 more minutes.

6.  Remove from heat.  Slowly pour the eggs into the soup, letting them strain through the whisk you used earlier to (mostly) avoid large glops of egg plopping into the broth at once.  The eggs will cook instantly.  Tell everyone soup’s on and ladle it into serving dishes piping hot!  If there’s any left over you can refrigerate it and reheat it on the stove for a day or two, so don’t worry about making too much at once.  :-)