Fried-Egg Soup

Today I made “Fried Egg Soup” from A Platter of Figs by David Tanis. I’ll let you in on a secret… this is probably the third soup I have ever attempted to make. I love eating soup when I go out, but somehow, homemade soup (at least homemade by me) doesn’t quite appeal to me; however, I think this recipe has completely changed my position on the matter. It was so amazing, and so easy too!

I made a few very slight alterations to the recipe. Most notably, I quartered the original recipe since I was only cooking for myself today. Even quartering it made enough broth for me to have dinner tonight, breakfast tomorrow, and to freeze some broth for later. Maybe I don’t eat very much.

Below is the recipe as I made it, although I highly recommend you take a look at Mr. Tanis’ book for both the original recipe, and for other amazing recipes and techniques!

Fried Egg Soup with a round of toasted baguette, and white ginger-pear tea from Tea Forté.
Fried Egg Soup with a round of toasted baguette, and white ginger-pear tea from Tea Forté.

This soup starts out with the light broth:

1.5 pounds raw chicken wings
1/2 onion, diced
1 carrot, diced
1/2 leak, slivered
1 thyme branch
1 bay leaf
cooking oil (I used canola)

Warm up a large saucepan to medium heat. Put a little bit of cooking oil into the saucepan, and then toss in the onions. Cook uncovered until they are see-through (about 2 minutes). Put in the chicken wings and let them cook until they are no longer pink (I think it took me about 15-20 minutes). Pour in 6 cups of cold water, throw in the carrot, leek, thyme, and bay leaf. Optionally, add some peppercorns. (If all that stuff doesn’t fit into your saucepan, just transfer the onions and chicken to a big pot and use that– I don’t happen to have a big pot right at the moment, and the saucepan was big enough.) Bring to a brief boil, then turn down to simmer. Simmer for 40 minutes.

Instead of straining and skimming the broth, I decided to leave it as-is for my soup. I don’t mind avoiding chicken and leeks to ladle my broth, and I like the extra flavor from the carrots and onions directly in my soup.

The next part is adding the aromatics:

2 cloves of garlic, sliced
1/2 inch ginger, finely chopped
1 cup of baby bok choy leaves, slivered (or use adult bok choy or spinach)

Add garlic to your soup and simmer for five minutes. Then add ginger and simmer for five more minutes. Add salt to taste. Just before serving, add the slivered baby bok choy leaves. They will take a minute or two to wilt.

Next comes the fried egg:

1 fresh egg per bowl of soup
salt to taste
cayenne (or black pepper) to taste

When you put the garlic into your soup, while you’re waiting, begin frying an egg sunny-side up, leaving it mostly runny. Season it with salt and cayenne pepper to taste (or black pepper if you prefer). This is also the time to drizzle some baguette slices with olive oil and give them a good toast, as well as to start steeping some tea. A white tea will go well with this recipe.

He likes food even more than I do!
This guy likes food even more than I do!

Place the fried egg into a shallow bowl. Ladle over the soup broth, making sure to pick up some of those carrots and bok choy leaves. Garnish with sliced green onions and serve immediately!

By the way, once the food was ready, I pulled my chair out onto the balcony, and ate it in the afternoon sunlight. Here is the view from my balcony.

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