When Eiersuppe was on the menu at the Aaseehauskolleg, the Studentenheim or dormitory where I lived at the university in Münster, Germany, nobody turned it down. Eiersuppe–in English, Egg Drop Soup–is a comfort food that warms the soul as well as the body.
My mother made it for me when I was sick, and in Germany and Austria it is still considered an excellent food to help people recover from a cold or flu. It is low in calories and carbohydrates and of course is mostly water, so it has to be good for you. The wonder is that it tastes so good.
In its most basic form, egg drop soup is just lightly seasoned chicken broth with threads of beaten egg poached in it. However, for many cooks, that recipe is just the starting point. “Chefkock.de,” a German cooking magazine, lists 480 egg soup recipes on its website.
Egg Drop Soup is popular around the world. It is a staple of Chinese cuisine, and many people first taste this soup in a Chinese restaurant, where it’s often called Egg Flower Soup. There are versions from Korea, Japan, India, Italy, Spain and France. In the New World, cooks from Alaska to Mexico have found ways to naturalize this wonderful soup as well. In Alaska people add king crab meat to the broth while Mexican chefs make Sopa de Huevo y Ajo with garlic, tomatoes and chili powder.
You can make egg drop soup almost any way you want, but here is a good basic recipe.
4 cups chicken broth
1/8 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
1 T cornstarch dissolved in 2 T cold water.
2 T chopped parsley
Rinse and finely chop about two tablespoons of fresh parsley.
Bring the broth to a boil in a saucepan. Add the salt and pepper. Dissolve the cornstarch in the cold water and stir it into the broth. Reduce the heat to simmer. Beat the eggs to lemon yellow and carefully dribble them into the simmering broth, stirring the stream of egg gently with a fork as you add it to the broth.
Simmer about a minute after you have added the eggs, then taste and adjust the seasoning. Ladle into bowls and garnish with the parsley.