Chinese Egg Drop Soup

Chinese Egg Drop Soup

Yesterday I made my one hundred and first soup from The Soup Book and my first in 2012. I had originally intended to make one of the three clam soup recipes but the spouse and I were unable to find any clams. The spouse's favourite fishmonger told him that clams aren't usually available after Christmas. Another fishmonger that I tried said there wasn't much call for them in his locality, but he could order them. You never know - I might get to make another soup during the week. Anyway, back to the Chinese egg drop soup.

The recipe is by Carolyn Humphreys, who suggests that the soup could be a simple chicken broth, but is made tasty and filling with the addition of vegetables and Chinese seasonings. The ingredients include chicken stock, garlic, fresh ginger root, spring onions, soy sauce, Chinese five-spice powder, corn on the cob or canned sweetcorn, baby leaf spinach, cornflour and eggs. The first stage involved cooking the crushed garlic, ginger, spring onions, soy sauce and spice in the chicken stock. Unable to make my first choice of soup, I had to pop out to Young Stephen's for spinach and the five-spice powder (pepper, star anise, cinnamon, clove and fennel seed). He told me how he now makes his own vegetable stock using up wilting vegetables from the shop; he has also ventured into soup making!

The second stage of my soup now required the addition of the sweetcorn and the spinach. I was using canned corn so this was added now rather than during the first stage as with fresh corn kernels. Once the spinach had wilted, I added the cornflour mixed with water to thicken the soup slightly. Finally, I trickled in the beaten egg and stirred it gently so that it would form the thin strands referred to in the recipe. Then it was time to eat. The three of us all enjoyed it - even the younger offspring took a second bowlful! The spice mix and the soy sauce gave the soup that familiar Chinese flavour, and the cornflour and strands of egg gave it the approximate texture of Chinese restaurant soup, but without the cloying monosodium glutamate flavour and thickness. Another one for the list of those to be repeated. 

Bee is for Books

A couple of new books I have in the pile beside my bed are Sean Borodale's Pages from Bee Journal and Carol Ann Duffy's The Bees. Borodale's book (it's more a pamphlet, really) is a "poem-journal" of bee-keeping over a two-year period. Here are the opening lines from "4th January: The Honey Jar":

I do not take the honey but lift it down:
The jar of it on the high shelf
is a ghost of goings-on
a kept world-part of their summer 
And now for the opening lines from Duffy's "The Human Bee":

I became a human bee at twelve,
when they gave me my small wand,
my flask of pollen,
and I walked with the other bees
out to the orchards. 

That's it for this weekend.



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