A runny egg in a bowl of garlicky chicken broth is a pleasurable way to begin a meal. The quality and freshness of the egg matters most. Poached eggs are good, but for this soup I like to fry the eggs for more flavor. Green garlic shoots come to market in early spring. Like tiny leeks or green onions, they need their outer layer removed, and then they can be slivered, chopped, or pounded to add to a dish. The perfume of green garlic shows best with minimal cooking.
Fry the eggs sunny-side up in a little olive oil, seasoning them well with salt and pepper and leaving them rather runny. The eggs can be fried up to an hour ahead and held on a baking sheet at room temperature.
In a large pot, bring the chicken stock to a simmer. Add the garlic and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the ginger and cook for a few minutes more. Taste and add salt as needed.
Just before serving, add the spinach or bok choy to the hot soup. It will just take a minute to wilt.
For each serving, put a fried egg in a warmed shallow soup plate. Ladle over the hot broth and sprinkle with the scallions. Serve the soup immediately.
© 2008 All rights reserved. Published by Workman Publishing.