There are times when only a steaming bowl of slow-simmered soup will do, and then there are more realistic times when a meal needs to come together right this minute. This soup has been my saving grace when my stomach is rumbling, I want something healthy, and I don't have much kicking around in the fridge. With this formula, a quick, nourishing soup is mine for the slurping in just about 10 minutes.
Why do I love this soup so much? It's mainly because it comes together super quickly and it's a tasty way to get in a big serving of greens. The eggs make it substantial enough to serve as a meal without the need to add noodles or meat. It's my way of still having a home-cooked meal when I don't want to resort to frozen food, takeout, or the temptation of cheese and crackers for dinner.
My Formula for Quick, Luxurious Soup
There are only four main parts to this soup, and almost all of them are adaptable to your mood and ingredients you have kicking around.
Quick weekday soup =
aromatics + broth + greens + eggs
This soup is best made in a wide pot so that there's plenty of room for the eggs to poach without bumping up against each other. Here's the play-by-play on how it all comes together.
- Aromatics: Start with a quick sauté of aromatics in a smidge of oil. My favorite combination is toasted sesame oil with sliced ginger and garlic (I skip mincing in favor of a quick slice). Change things up with a different oil, shallots, a bit of onion, or lemongrass.
- Broth: Next comes broth. Use vegetable, chicken, mushroom, boxed, homemade, or bouillon base. Whatever floats your boat. Want to go tom yum-style? Mix broth with some coconut milk. Taste at this point and you might want to add some miso paste, soy sauce, tamari, fish sauce, lime juice, or more sesame oil. Make it tasty; this is the base of the soup!
- Greens: I love, love, love greens in soups. Finely chop heartier greens like kale so they cook faster, but you can leave tender greens like bok choy, Napa cabbage, or even broccoli in larger pieces. Drop the greens into the boiling broth and bring it back to a simmer. (If you have super-tender greens like baby spinach or arugula, add those in during the last minute the eggs are cooking instead.)
- Eggs: Finally, eggs get cracked right into the simmering broth and greens. In just about 3 to 4 minutes, you'll have tender egg whites holding in bright runny yolks.
Garnishes are totally not necessary, but always welcome. After you ladle the soup into bowls, have fun with toppings like sliced scallions, Japanese togarashi powder or furikake, Sriracha, and chile-garlic paste. Take pride while you break open that egg yolk and watch it run into the soup, making the broth just that much richer and tastier. Congratulations! You've just made soup in about 10 minutes.
- Get the recipe: Gingery Poached Egg Soup