The baked goat cheese on pesto was to hold off my friends' hunger as I quickly prepared the rest of dinner. I was making nai luc lac (Vietnamese shaking venison), Bo Nuong La Lot (Vietnamese Grilled Beef with Wild Betel Leaves), and nem nuong xa (Vietnamese grilled lemongrass pork patties).
I used ground pork for the soup since I already had it on hand for the nem nuong xa, but normally would make this with ground shrimp, using the shells for the broth. Either option works just fine.
Dinner was a cold, rainy night in late October, this quick and warming soup seemed to hit the spot with everyone.
I first came across the idea of a Vietnamese tomato egg drop soup in "The Best of Nicole Routhier." While her version used kaffir lime leaves and galangal, I kept mine simpler by skipping the extra aromatics and adding sliced green beans for a burst of color contrast with the tomatoes. I call my version the oh-so-creatively-named, Sup Ca Chua Dau Xanh (Vietnamese Green Bean and Tomato Egg Drop Soup). ;)
Unlike my favorite Sup Mang Tay Cua (Vietnamese Asparagus and Crab Soup), tomatoes and green beans are far cheaper and readily available year-round. Even in the off-season when tomatoes are often mealy, this preparation disguises many sins.
I don't know why it's been so long since I've made this soup. Once, when one of my ba noi (Vietnamese paternal grandmother)'s friends had come visiting, while they chatted at the kitchen table, I busied myself slicing and boiling. To their amazement, this pretty soup was ready in minutes, before the conversation had turned cold even.
Quick and easy. If fresh tomatoes are too expensive, feel free to use canned diced tomatoes. I've used ordinary green beans and snow peas. The beans/peas are really for color, so you don't need a whole lot since they're getting sliced thin anyway.
Sup Ca Chua Dau Xanh (Vietnamese Green Bean and Tomato Egg Drop Soup)
Inspired by the tomato and egg drop soup in "The Best of Nicole Routhier."
For a 3-quart pot of soup, you'll need:
1/4 lb ground pork or ground shrimp. (Make Canh (Vietnamese Soup Broth) with the shrimp shells if you intend to make this soup with minced shrimp.)
3 eggs, beaten
4 large tomatoes or 6 Roma tomatoes, diced
1/4 lb green beans or snow peas, sliced thinly
2 shallots, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tblsp Nuoc Mam (Vietnamese Fish Sauce)
1/2 tsp salt
In a 5-quart stock pot on medium-high heat, drizzle a bit of oil and saute the minced garlic and shallots with 1/4-lb ground pork or shrimp. When the shallots have softened, add 3 quarts broth or water. Add 1 tblsp fish sauce and 1/2 tsp salt.
Then wash and dice the tomatoes. Add them to the soup.
Wash and thinly slice the green beans. Add them to the soup.
Taste the broth and add salt or fish sauce if needed.
Check and see if the tomatoes and green beans have softened to your liking. If so, beat three eggs into a bowl. Slowly drizzle the eggs into the soup while stirring the broth to create "egg drops."
My other light Vietnamese soups you may like:
Canh Bap Cai Bac Thao (Vietnamese Napa Cabbage Soup)
Canh Bap Cai Nhoi Thit (Vietnamese Stuffed Cabbage Soup)
Canh Bi Tom (Winter Melon Soup with Shrimp)
Canh Bi/Bau Nhoi Thit (Vietnamese Pork-Stuffed Winter Melon Soup)
Canh Chua Ca (Vietnamese Sour Fish Soup)
Canh Chua Tom (Vietnamese Sour Shrimp Soup)
Canh O/Kho Qua Nhoi Thit (Vietnamese Stuffed Bitter Melon Soup)
Canh Rau Cuu Ky (Vietnamese (Chinese) Boxthorn Soup)
Sup Mang Tay Cua (Vietnamese Asparagus and Crab Soup)
1 year ago today, hanh phi (Vietnamese fried shallots).
2 years ago today, best of 2007 recipes from fessenjan (Persian pomegranate and walnut-glazed) roast duck to pho bo (Vietnamese beef noodle soup).
3 years ago today, cheap rolls at Sushi House Japanese Restaurant and Sushi Bar - Alameda.