Soup’s On!

Published 11:25 am Saturday, January 13, 2018

by Mary Rapoport, CFCS

January is National Soup Month and we have three yummy, easy, affordable and low-calorie soups you can prep in minutes to warm you from the inside out. Eggs offer terrific protein while helping to thicken the broth. These soups will help you over a cold, fill you up before another course, be the main event or be part of a soup and sandwich meal. Make ahead for reheating, pack in thermoses for toting, or enjoy for healthy snacking.

I just made all three and every time I fixed one I ate it and declared it was my favorite — they are all wonderful — if you cook, make one tonight. If you don’t cook, get someone who loves you to make them.

Whatever you do, get your soup on during National Soup Month and do it with eggs.

Avgolemono Soup

Avgolemono Soup

You may recognize this soup if you ever frequent Greek restaurants or diners where it’s a staple — like clam chowder at a clam shack. This tangy lemon and rice soup is the perfect start to a light meal, or when served in a large bowl could easily be the meal itself.

There are four main ingredients and it’s simple to fix, especially if you use store-bought chicken broth.

I made the Avgolemono in a rice cooker — it never fully absorbs the liquid as it does when cooking rice, since twice the amount of liquid is used.

The other caveat is the chicken broth — there are three sodium levels — 1) regular, 2) reduced sodium, 3) low sodium. The regular has tons of sodium, so I shy away from that. The low sodium is OK if you’re using it with a bunch of other really highly flavored things and it’ll cook for hours absorbing all the flavor, but if you use it for a quick thing like these soups it mostly tastes like dish-water (not that I’ve ever tried it.) So I always try to use the reduced sodium for a quick soup and try not to add any salt to it, since it doesn’t need it.

The lemon flavor makes it a perfect start to a light spring meal; make it on a cold winter day; make it when you’re sick; make it for company; or make it in the summer and serve it chilled.

Basically, it suits anytime you have a hankering for something a little out of the ordinary and when you want something delicious.

The only trick is to take your time. Rush it and you’ll surely curdle the eggs instead of bringing it to a creamy thickened consistency.

Egg Drop Soup

Egg Drop Soup

This traditional soup, served in small cups in Chinese restaurants, can easily be made at home with just a few ingredients. It’s actually more delicious than the sometimes gelatinous and MSG laden concoctions you get at some restaurants. Start with your favorite pre-made chicken broth, a few eggs and go from there.

The trick, again, is not to boil the broth — rather steam it so the eggs cook into shreds.

For added color and nutrition, toss in some shredded carrots, spinach or even some cut-up, cooked chicken.

Stracciatella Romano Soup

When the weather outside is frightful or you just need some comfort food any time of year, this soup made with kitchen staple ingredients will hit the spot. It makes up in minutes and is soothing on both you and your pocketbook.

Some fondly call it ‘rag’ soup, since the long shreds of cooked, protein-rich eggs resemble rags. The carb component can be eliminated by leaving out the baguette slice. The spinach and cheese add calcium to this healthy, delicious mixture.

Greek Avgolemono Soup

8 cups chicken broth
1 cup uncooked rice (not Minute Rice) or orzo
Salt and pepper to taste
4 eggs, well beaten until thickened
Juice from 3 large lemons
Optional add-ins: chopped, cooked chicken or fresh spinach
Parsley, lemon slices for garnish

  • Bring chicken broth to a boil; add rice or orzo. Simmer until tender, about 15 to 20 minutes. Season stock to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Add lemon juice to beaten, thickened eggs.
  • Gradually transfer two cups hot broth to the egg/lemon mixture, adding it in a slow constant stream and beating vigorously to prevent eggs from solidifying.
  • Remove soup from heat and add the beaten mixture back to the pot, whisking to blend. Heat over medium low until thickened. Add cooked chicken and fresh spinach, if desired. Serve immediately. Garnish with very thin slices of lemon and parsley.

Makes 8 cups/4-6 bowls

Italian Stracciatella Romano Soup

12” crusty baguette (opt.)
1 qt. chicken broth
4 eggs, beaten
1/3 cup grated Romano or Parmesan cheese (freshly grated if possible)
1 T. chopped parsley
½ tsp. salt
2 cups baby spinach
Freshly cracked pepper

  • Slice baguette/coat with olive oil/bake in 400° oven until crisp/lay a slice in each soup bowl.
  • Heat chicken broth until simmering in saucepan.
  • Stir cheese, parsley and salt into beaten eggs and gradually drizzle egg mixture into simmering soup, stirring in a circular fashion with a fork or whisk.
  • Once egg is cooked in long strings, stir in spinach. Add cracked pepper and serve in bowls on top of toast.

Makes 4 – 5 servings

Chinese Egg Drop Soup

4 cups chicken broth (reserve ¾ cup)
1 ½ T. cornstarch
2 T. fresh chives or green onion, thinly sliced
1/8 teas. ginger
¼ teas. salt (or to taste)
2 eggs & 1 yolk, beaten

  • Combine ¾ cup broth with cornstarch — blend well and set aside
  • Combine remaining broth, chives or green onion, ginger and salt in a saucepan; heat to boiling.
  • Pour beaten eggs and yolk through tines of a fork into simmering mixture.
  • Stir in broth/cornstarch mixture and let thicken over low heat.
  • Carrots, cabbage, spinach or celery may be added.

Makes 4 servings

MARY RAPOPORT is the director of Consumer Affairs for the Virginia Egg Council. Contact her at 540-345-3958 or, or visit