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Monday, January 16, 2012

When Life Gives You Lemons…

Make Egg Lemon soup. It’s winter so what better recipe to dabble with than an easy soup. This one, healthy and full of flavor can be whipped up in less than ten. Are you still with me? Good. While many soups require a slow simmer, this quick Egg Lemon soup recipe requires just a few simple ingredients including fresh veggies and herbs. You can use your imagination to create a flavor you like but keep it under ten. You’ll never want to open up a can of sodium-filled soup ever again.

Recipe proportions are for two large meal-size bowls of soup. (See bowl in photo.)

To start:

Boil four cups of water in a quart-size pan. Add one teaspoon of my favorite - Minors Chicken Base. Whatever you use to create your stock, make sure it is full of chicken or vegetable flavor and lower on the sodium. Bouillons are just tiny salt cubes with a hint of chicken flavor so avoid these if you can. If you make your own stock, that by far, is the healthiest. But back to the soup!

When bringing to a boil, you can add four or five fresh mushrooms, sliced and tossed into the water. Add in a ¼ cup of Chili Mac pasta (great for soups) or you can break up a handful of spaghetti in inch size pieces. If you want to add any other veggies (i.e., fennel, celery – which require a bit of cooking, chop and dice small and add while the base and the pasta cook together. The pasta absorbs the flavors so you really won’t need to add any extra salt. A dash of fresh ground pepper perhaps but that’s it.

While this concoction is cooking, wash fresh arugula, baby spinach, you could even use a salad mix. Place the greens in two large bowls. You can also add fresh dill, parsley, basil, cilantro finely chopped and added to the greens – whatever herb flavors you like. I wouldn’t recommend all those herbs together but you’re the chef. Once the soup base has cooked for approximately 5 minutes (pasta should be al dente) squeeze one half of a fresh lemon into the soup. Stir and add one beaten egg into the soup, letting the egg coagulate on the top. Pour over the fresh greens and herbs and let sit for one minute. An olive tapenade on a crusty French bread goes nicely with this cozy meal. Simple and easy but most important – it’s warm and made with tons of fresh veggies. Perfect for a cold winter day!

So when life gives you lemons, make egg lemon soup. And with so many funny versions of the clichĂ© ‘when life gives you lemons’, I opted to go with a more serious Winston Churchill quote to end today’s holiday post. “A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” Hope your week brings you plenty of lemonade, egg lemon soup or opportunity; it all depends on how you look at those lemons!

Image of eggs and lemon waiting to be whipped into Egg Lemon Soup by Ann Bilowz

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© 2009 Ann St. Jean-Bilowz/Bilowz Associates Inc. (including all photographs, unless otherwise noted in Annie's Gardening Corner are the property of Bilowz Associates Inc. and shall not be reproduced in any manner nor are they to be assigned to any third party without the expressed written permission and consent of Bilowz Associates Inc.)