“Why would anyone put hard-boiled eggs in soup?” asked Jerri as I put a bowl in front of her.
“First of all, it’s not soup. It’s chowder,” I answered, “and it was probably a Mennonite farmwife with lots of chickens.”
This recipe was inspired by one from the Mennonite Community Cookbook by Mary Emma Showalter, a cookbook I have referred to many times over the years. Since Jerri was born into a Mennonite family, one would think she would understand that if your chickens were laying, you had to use the eggs. This is a good way to get rid of a couple, or three, if you really like hard-boiled eggs.
3 cups chopped celery with the leaves
1 cup chopped potatoes
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 1/2 cups water
1 chicken bouillon cube
2 large eggs
3 T butter
3 T all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. white pepper
3 cups whole milk
1/4 tsp. celery salt
Dash of hot sauce
Freshly ground black pepper
Clean and chop the celery and potato into a half-inch dice. Clean and finely chop the onion. Put the vegetables into a three quart saucepan, cover them with about a cup and a half of water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for about fifteen minutes.
Put the eggs into a small pan, cover with water and bring to a boil. Cook the eggs for five minutes, remove from the heat and let the eggs continue cooking in the hot water for another eight minutes. Cool the eggs in ice water for a few minutes. Peel and chop them into a quarter to half-inch dice and set them aside in a small bowl.
Remove the vegetables from the heat. Make a roux. Melt three tablespoons of butter in a skillet, add the flour, salt and white pepper and stir the mixture until it begins to bubble. Continue cooking the roux over low heat for two or three minutes, but be careful not to brown it. Add the milk to the roux, stirring constantly until it thickens and turns into a smooth sauce. Cook the sauce for another two or three minutes.
Stir the sauce into the vegetables and fold in the chopped eggs. Return the soup to the heat and stir in the hot sauce, celery salt and a grind or two of black pepper.
Bring the soup to a simmer, taste and adjust the seasoning. Serve as a satisfying lunch or as a first course for dinner. With a sandwich it makes a good light supper.
NOTES: If you don’t have whole milk, mix a half cup of half and half with two and a half cups of reduced fat milk or add an extra tablespoon of butter to the soup. Whole milk gives you a velvety smooth soup.