A vegetarian Egg Drop Soup for all you lovers of silky egg ribbons in a bowl. This Tomato Egg Drop Soup is an Indo-Chinese take on the famous Chinese Tomato Egg Drop Soup. A 10-minute recipe, bursting with umami flavour and hearty enough to be a complete meal.
Why You Should Salt Tomatoes Before Cooking And Eating?
When I first started researching the Chinese version of this Tomato Egg Drop Soup, I came across countless recipes that first started by salting tomatoes. Why salt tomatoes if you were going to add salt/soy sauce to the soup later, I wondered? A deep dive on Instagram and a thorough read of cooking compendiums like Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat taught me that when you salt a tomato, science happens!
When you salt a tomato, it starts the process of osmosis that draws out the inner concentrated tomato liquid/flavour through the cell membranes into the outer layer (probably the reason why you see tomatoes sweating in your salad after you have seasoned them!). Not only does it make the tomato less watery and more concentrated in flavour, it also activated your salivary glands causing saliva to distribute flavour in the far reaches of your mouth. So that the minute the salted tomato touches your lips, your brain explodes with the flavour and it tastes even sweeter. This probably explains why a chopped Indian salad of tomato and onion rings is always salted and sprinkled with pepper (try it, it is divine!)
A Really Good Indo Chinese Vegetarian Soup
So, I started salting my tomatoes at the start of this soup and I swear the umami boost was exponential. The concept of this Indo Chinese soup is similar to the Chicken Sweetcorn Soup I shared last week. But this soup is all kids of salty and mouthy and umami. And I absolutely love it, especially the big chunks of perfectly cooked tomato swimming in an almost creamy cornstarch-based soup speckled with just-cooked ribbons of whipped egg.
As with all Indo Chinese Soups, you would be remiss if you didn't add some sort of chilli, spring onion and coriander - the hallmarks of Indo Chines Cuisine. This beautiful soup cook in 10 minutes. It means that it gets made for after-school snacks or school lunchboxes or solo lunches for a busy working mumma and even during my weekly meal prep sessions. It is just so easy and delicious!
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- 3 ripe tomatoes, each cut into 8 wedges
- Sea salt flakes and crushed black pepper
- 1 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon grated ginger
- 2 tablespoons tamari
- 1 tablespoon white vinegar
- Pinch of white pepper
- 4 cups (1000 ml) vegetable stock
- 2 eggs, whisked
- 3 tablespoons cornflour mixed in 2 tablespoons water
- ¼ cup sliced spring onions, green only
- Place tomato wedges in a shallow bowl. Sprinkle with sea salt flakes and black pepper. Set aside.
- Heat oil in a 2-litre heavy-bottomed saucepan on medium-high heat. Add garlic, ginger and tomatoes. Sauté for 3-4 minutes until tomatoes are starting to soften.
- Mix well.
- Add the stock. Bring to a rapid boil.
- Reduce heat to medium. Using a wooden spoon stir the middle to create a vortex. Pour the egg in a thin stream down the center of this vortex, moving outward in a circular fashion. After you finish pouring, wait a few seconds for the egg to set and gently stir and mix thoroughly.
- Add the cornflour, tamari, vinegar and white pepper. Adjust seasoning if needed. Simmer for another minute or two until the soup thickens. Add spring onion and serve hot.