For the Soup
2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
2 or 3 sprigs fresh mint or dill
2 or 3 strips lemon zest, removed with a carrot peeler
1/8 teaspoon Aleppo pepper, cayenne, or smoked paprika
For the Eggy Business
1 egg, separated
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice, strained of both pulp and seeds
Freshly ground pepper
Excellent olive oil
Finely chopped fresh thyme, mint, or chives
To prepare the soup, bring the stock to a simmer in a large saucepan with the sprigs of fresh mint, lemon zest, and Aleppo pepper; taste and adjust for salt, with the understanding that the egg will tone it down some.
Remove the stock from the heat and extract the solids.
Set aside ½ cup of stock in a small cup.
Using a hand mixer, beat the egg white with the salt and sugar until soft peaks form.
Using a whisk, lightly beat the egg yolk and then gently fold it into the egg white, followed by the lemon juice.
Pour the reserved stock slowly into the lemon and egg mixture, whisking gently and continuously until all is incorporated.
Return the soup pot to medium-low heat and whisk the lemon-egg mixture in. Simmer, whisking frequently, for about 15 minutes. The foam of the egg will mostly subside into the soup over this time, and the soup base will thicken slightly.
You can skim the remaining foam or leave it; I find it delicious and amusing, and it makes a nice base for the little garnishes.
Garnish with a grind of pepper, a few drops of olive oil, and a scattering of fresh herbs.
This is an excerpt printed with permission from the cookbook, Extra Helping by Janet Reich Elsbach ©2018