Bulk Up Soup With Leftover Egg Whites

Illustration for article titled Bulk Up Soup With Leftover Egg Whites

Photo: Claire Lower

My father has many chickens, all of them named after his favorite church ladies, and those hens have been laying. This means I have been on the receiving end of steady stream of beautiful fresh eggs with the most intensely colored, golden yolks, and they have ruined me for grocery store eggs.

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The eggs are (obviously) good when fried whole in lots of butter, but I’m obsessed with these yolks and what they do in a custard. With them, I’ve made sweet cream ice cream and banana pudding, and both have come out so yellow, you’d think I’d added food coloring. This focus on custard has resulted in several delicious treats, but has left me with a surplus of egg whites. I also plan to cure quite a few of the nearly orange orbs, which will only add to my egg white supply.

Egg whites are great at providing two things: structure and protein. I mostly use them to give body to meringues, pavlovas, and sours, but I can only eat so much of the former two, and I’m just not drinking enough for the latter to be an effective egg-white consumption strategy. I’d never recommend anyone make or eat an egg white omelet (aka the pervert’s omelet), but all that extra protein is quite welcome in a brothy bowl of soup.

Before we get to how we do that, I need to stress that drizzling egg whites into hot broth does not an egg drop soup make. While this move was definitely inspired by egg drop soup, do not think I am claiming that it is. Egg drop soup is a fully realized dish, and this is more of a way to get a little extra protein while using up as surplus egg whites (without having to make a depressing omelet).

I already keep my egg whites in a restaurant style squeeze bottle—which makes them easy to pour and measure for cocktails—and that bottle also happens to be the best tool for getting the whites into the soup, though you could also pour them from a spouted cup in a thin, steady stream. All you have to do is bring your broth or soup to boil, drizzle the whites into the bubbly spots, then move the pot off the burner and swirl to make tender, noodly egg white wisps. Try it with a simple chicken stock, a brothy vegetable soup, instant ramen or a pot of simmering beans. Just don’t call it “egg drop soup”—you need whole eggs for that.

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