Vegetarian Eggflower Soup

Preparation Time: 5 Minutes
Cooking Time: 12 Minutes

Whenever I am in a hurry, this is my vegetarian standby. The ‘eggflower’ motif - lovely strands of lace-like white of egg - is a common one in South-East Asia. Vegetables are rarely assertive in flavour, but here, the crushed lemongrass stalks and ginger give the soup a tangy and refreshing taste.

Ingredients

  • 2 stalks fresh lemongrass
  • 1.2 litres(2 pints) home-made vegetarian stock or quality store-bought fresh stock
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 egg white
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil

Garnish

  • handful fresh coriander sprigs
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped spring onions

Method

  1. With the flat of a cleaver or a heavy knife, crush the lemongrass stalks.
  2. Put the stock in a wok and bring to simmering point. Add the lemongrass, salt, pepper, sugar and lemon juice and stir to mix well. Simmer gently for 10 Minutes. Remove the lemongrass stalks and discard.
  3. In a small bowl, beat the egg white lightly and combine with the sesame oil. Pour into the stock in a very slow, thin stream. Using a chopstick or fork, pull the egg gently into strands. (I find that stirring the egg white in a figure of eight works quite well.)
  4. Turn into a soup tureen or individual bowls, garnish with the coriander and spring onions and serve at once.

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