Recipe of the Week: Vegetarian Egg Drop Soup

Now that Spring is here, we were casting about looking for something lighter to cook for lunch than the winter fare we've been having. We came across Nina Simond's discussion of the seasonal diet in her wonderful Asian cookbook A Spoonful of Ginger. She points out that the Chinese believe that certain foods correspond to each season. "The spring season signifies rebirth and renewal and it is traditionally a time for cleansing. Some Chinese doctors recommend a fast, consuming only fruit and vegetable juices." She suggests a number of recipes that are appropriate for the spring season. We decided to give Vegetarian Egg Drop Soup a try. It took about fifteen minutes from start to finish and was about as easy as you could get.

Vegetarian Egg Drop Soup

  • 1 ½ tsp vegetable oil

  • 2 medium tomatoes, cored and cut into ¼ inch dice

  • ½ scallions, white part only

  • 3 tbsp soy sauce

  • ¾ cup sake or rice wine

  • 5 cups water

  • 1 tsp salt, or to taste

  • ½ pound snow peas, ends snapped and veiny strings removed

  • 2 ½ tbsp corn starch mixed with 6 tbsp water

  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten with 2 tbsp water

1. Heat a heavy soup pot over high heat, add the oil, and heat until hot, about 20 seconds. Add tomatoes and scallions, and stir fry until fragrant, about 15 seconds. Add the soy sauce and sake and stir fry over high heat for 20 seconds. Add the water and salt and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low and cook for 2 minutes. Add snow peas and stir.

2. Slowly add the corn starch mixture and bring the liquid to a boil, stirring to prevent lumps from forming. Once slightly thickened, remove from the heat and slowly add the beaten eggs, pouring them in a thin stream around the edge of the pot. Carefully stir once or twice so that the eggs form thin streamers. Taste for seasoning and ladle into serving bowls.

Serves 6.