As summer fades, and the beautiful leaves around our many lakes turn, so too fade the days of enjoying cold salads and fresh watermelon. Last week as I saw the season’s first drizzle and snow, I realized it was time for one thing…soup!
If you’re like me, you have entire books of soup recipes and it can be daunting to choose the best/most appropriate for the time of year. Luckily, classical Chinese food therapy lays out very clearly the energetics of each season, offering very clear guidelines as to which foods are best and when. Chinese medicine identifies the fall as a time of dryness, when the lung (also called ‘the delicate organ’) is most vulnerable.
Any soup for fall must not only nourish and protect the lung, it should also address seasonal dryness. Deceptively simple, egg and tomato soup accomplishes both of these goals!
3 ripe, red tomatoes
2 heads of green bok choy
6 1/3 cups chicken stock
3 tbsp finely sliced spring onion greens
3 tbsp cooking oil
Ground White Pepper
In a small bowl, beat the eggs with a little salt. Slice the tomatoes and cut the bok choy into bite-sized pieces. Bring the stock to a boil in a pot. Put the spring onion greens into a serving bowl.
Add the oil to a seasoned wok (or cast iron pan) over a high flame and swirl it around. Pour in the eggs and swirl them around too. Let them set into an omelet. When the underside is golden, flip it over and brown the other side. Remove the omelet from the wok and set aside.
Add the tomatoes and bok choy to the hot stock, return to a boil, add the omelet and cook briefly until the vegetables are tender, seasoning with salt and white pepper to taste.
Pour the soup over the spring onions in the serving bowl. Serve and enjoy, making sure to get as much delicious tomato and egg into each bowl as you can fit.
Why eggs and tomatoes? Eggs are known to moisten dryness, and treat dry cough or even a hoarse voice; both of which are symptoms relating to lung imbalance. Tomatoes are also used to nourish the stomach and spleen, cure dry throat, and cool heat.
(Recipes taken from the fantastic book Every Grain of Rice: Simple Chinese Home Cooking by Fuchsia Dunlop)