December 1, 2014 by NS
Sorry for the long silence! I’ve been quite busy and haven’t had time to cook much lately. My wife made a tomato soup the other day, though, and I wanted to post about her soup making methods and the kind of soup she likes.
My wife’s comfort food is tomato soup. There are a bunch of variations she likes – occasionally we’ll put rice in, often it’s kidney beans, and the other option is noodles. There’s always some egg (there is art to this), garlic, and ginger. Salt and ground black pepper for seasoning. You can also put other vegetables in, but that’s optional. Here’s the approximate recipe she made this past weekend:
1 can whole tomatoes
3 cloves garlic, crushed but not chopped
3 thick slices of ginger
thin Japanese noodles (somen)
2 scallions, chopped
2 tbsp chopped parsley
1/2 lb kai-lan
salt and pepper to taste
We only used scallion and parsley because we happened to have those. My wife prefers cilantro. These are optional ingredients. I think the vegetable we had was kai-lan but I am not sure; anyway you can put in whatever vegetables you like.
The process: first get the water boiling and put in the garlic, ginger, tomatoes and whatever other vegetables you’re using. Add some salt and pepper too. You should get these going first and then prepare the other ingredients, because everything else goes in at the end and the vegetables need some time to cook. Beat the eggs in a bowl and get all the other ingredients ready.
When you are ready to finish the soup, make sure it is boiling merrily, and put in the scallions and the noodles. The noodles only take a minute or so to cook, so be ready with the egg. After the noodles have cooked for about a minute, you should pour in the egg, not too quickly, along the edge of a spoon or chopstick, moving around the soup so you don’t pour the egg all in one place. If you do this right, the egg should fluff up as it cooks instantly in the roiling broth. If you pour too quickly, the egg will clump together in large clumps and it won’t be as nice or fluffy. If you pour too slowly, the egg will be torn apart into small bits by the force of the boiling water. Getting the egg right is tricky and any Chinese person will be impressed if you can get good soup egg texture. Texture is very important in Asian cooking!
After you pour in the egg, your soup is done! Put it in bowls to serve, garnish with parsley (or cilantro), add more salt and pepper if needed, and enjoy!