Soup for Colds, Part 3: The Recipes

Egg Drop Soup with Spinach and Shiitake Mushrooms. A classic from your favorite Chinese restaurant, with a vitamin boost. Start with 4 cups of your special cold-fighting stock. Add 1 garlic clove, minced, and half of a hot chili pepper, minced. (The hot pepper is optional, but adds an authentic Asian touch).  Prepare 4 or 5 mushrooms. If using fresh, remove the tough stem (it’ll never soften), slice into bite sizes. If using dried; soak in lukewarm water, remove the stem, slice. Add mushrooms to the stock. Slice 2 cups fresh spinach into ribbons; set aside. Break 2 eggs into a small bowl, whisk (like for scrambled eggs). Just before serving, slowly, slowly add the eggs. Give them a minute to set, then add the spinach. Serve immediately. To accentuate Asian flavors, add a few drops of sesame oil just before serving. [Note: When I make this just for myself, I sometimes crack the whole egg directly into the soup and let it poach in the hot broth. A nice variant.]

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