Saturday, January 28, 2012
Saffron Egg Drop Soup
What is this recipe doing here? you may ask. How does one arrive at a Chinese/Spanish fusion soup in the South? I think back happily to the times when, as a child, I would go out to lunch after church every Sunday with my family. Most weeks, we'd end up at a place called Nam King on Summer Avenue in East Memphis. My dad would order something like deep-fried chicken feet just to watch us all squirm, but I would always order egg drop soup.
I was fascinated by the airy texture of the egg, and I loved the crunchy fried noodles on the side; however, the thing I picture most is the color of the broth: such a deep yellow it almost seemed like a cartoon drawing of what this particular soup should look like. With this recipe, I wanted to recreate the color, and I did that by using saffron threads in the broth. I felt like I had committed to a Spanish flavor profile, so adding manchego and the sherry vinegar sealed the deal. I updated this traditional soup even more so by replacing the crunch of the fried noodles with diced vegetables.
Saffron Egg Drop Soup
1 small red pepper (about 1/2 cup)
1 small purple onion (about 1/2 a cup)
1 green tomato (about 1/2 a cup)
1/4 cup loosely packed fresh parsley (chopped)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon sherry vinegar
1/4 teaspoon sugar
saffron broth (recipe follows)
3 eggs (beaten)
1/2 cup shredded manchego cheese
salt and pepper (to taste)
Finely dice pepper, onion, and tomato and place into a mixing bowl. Finely chop parsley and add it to the mixture along with a pinch of salt, a tablespoon of olive oil, sherry vinegar, and sugar. Set this mixture aside; it is the garnish for the soup.
Bring the broth to a rolling boil. Add beaten eggs to the boiling broth -- one small spoonful at a time -- until all the beaten eggs are used. (The 'splintering' effect is really cool to watch!) To serve, spoon egg and broth mixture into a bowl, top with a spoonful of the vegetable mixture, and then grate a bit of the manchego on top.
1 1/2 quarts of vegetable stock (like Imagine No-Chicken Stock)
5 cloves of garlic (minced)
zest from one lemon
zest from one orange
1/4 teaspoon saffron threads
Over medium-high heat, add the vegetable stock and garlic to the pot. Add the zest, water, saffron, and about a teaspoon of sherry vinegar. Simmer over medium heat until the broth has reduced by about 20 percent. Add black pepper and salt as needed.
Posted by The Chubby Vegetarian at 5:51 PM