No really, this post is about a recipe. A real recipe, not an excuse to sidetrack into a paean to the unfathomable forces of the cosmos that have brought together, like so many disparate and seemingly uncombinable ingredients, the elements that are this wonderful soup that is my life.
No, I shan’t do that. No, this post is about a recipe. A recipe, as it turns out, for soup.
But first, let it be said that the thing I think I will miss most when Jamie and I move to our new home, is the Greenmarket that occurs every Saturday nearly right outside our door. NYC has done an amazing job getting these set up all around the City and indeed, while we are not moving more than 15 minutes north and thus will still have easy access to our market, it won’t be as easy. It will now take more planning than, “Lets go downstairs to the market.” Boo hoo to us, indeed. Sometimes you do get used to the convenience of things.
But plan we will ’cause we must have our Patrick Farm milk (a thing of beauty, cream sitting clotted on top waiting to be shaken back into an unhomoginizable, delicious slurry) and eggs. Our Patrick Farm friends also sell yogurt that a neighboring farm, Evans Farmhouse makes; life wouldn’t be the same without it.
Oh and all the cut-and-picked-this-morning fruit and produce. And the organic cheese maker, and the free-range turkey (hot Italian turkey sausage!); well, as the song goes, “Never can say goodbye”.
Oh, soup, you say? There was something said about soup? Ok, ok, I’ll leave my orgiastic organic reverie. But I’ll bring with me the asparagus. It’s in bountiful season just now. And it make a delicious, phenomenally easy, soup.
I came across the recipe in the current (June ’07) issue of Food and Wine (p.106). It is incredibly good as is, but being the kitchen tinkerer that I am… Here’s the updated version:
Asparagus Egg Drop Soup Unnecessarily Dressed Up
2 TBS Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO for the RR fans)
1 TBS Sweet Butter
1 medium Onion, cut in half lengthwise and then thinly sliced from top to bottom
3 cloves Garlic, thinly sliced and matchsticked
1 ear fresh Corn, kernels cut off the cob
4 C Chicken Broth or Vegetable Broth if you prefer
1/3 C White Wine
1/2 LB Asparagus, cut on the diagonal into 1″ pieces
Salt and Pepper
1/4 C freshly grated Pecorino Romano or better still, the old hard rind of same, about 2″ square.
Heat the Olive Oil over moderate flame in a 4 quart sauce pan. Add the butter and let melt and foam. When the foam dies down, add the onions and garlic. Stir and cover. Let cook gently for 3 minutes, then add the corn kernels. Season with salt, pepper and 8 grates of nutmeg (a good 1/4 tsp) stir and cover for about another 5 minutes when the onions and garlic should be translucent.
Add the broth and wine and bring to a gentle boil. If you are using an old cheese rind, add it in now to soften and disperse. If using the cheese rind, gently boil for about 10-15 minutes, breaking up the rind from time to time with a wooden spoon. If not using the rind, you can either bring broth mixture to a higher boil right away, or let it boil gently for 10-15 to marry the flavors.
When rind has dispersed, bring soup up to a higher boil and add the asparagus.
While that cooks, only about 30 seconds, gently mix the two eggs in a separate bowl. Do not scramble; just mix them around enough that the yolks are broken and semi-combined with the whites. Season with a bit of salt and pepper.
While gently stirring the soup, gradually pour the eggs into it in a figure eight pattern. Do this slowly. And then let this cook about another 30 seconds until the eggs are cooked through.
If using the grated cheese, add it just at the end and stir.
That’s it. Eat and enjoy. Jamie and I often eat just this for dinner. You could definitely serve 4 using smaller portions.
I hope someone tries this and that I’ve been clear enough, a recipe writer I’m not. It’s an amazingly simple but outrageously delicious soup. In fact, we had it earlier this evening. Now I’m out of asparagus until this Saturday’s market. *Sigh* Thank God I bought enough yogurt to last the week!