a recipe for a nasty cold: egg drop soup with duck

 Egg drop soup is a favorite in our home: easy to make, rich with flavor and brimming with nutrient-dense ingredients.  A far cry from the tepid, gelatinous and oddly yellow soups of Chinese restaurants, a real egg drop soup is mild, simple and aromatic.  Like all good soups, a real egg drop soup begins with a good broth – one that’s fragrant with aromatic vegetables and deepened by the flavor of roasted bones.

So when my young son fell ill this weekend, in addition to upping his dose of high vitamin cod liver oil – a boon to wellness and the only supplement we take (you can find it online) – I made sure that flavorful, mineral-rich and nutrient-dense soups like this egg drop soup with duck became the focus of his nourishment.  We’re fortunate.  Between eating nutrient-dense foods, taking that mixture of high vitamin cod liver oil and butter oil coupled with regular chiropractic adjustments, we rarely get sick and when we do get sick the illnesses are mild and we tend to recover quickly.

A good bone broth as the base for a good soup is the critical food in our medicinal kitchen armament – nourishing our bodies on an almost daily basis and reviving our health when we’re hit by the stray stomach bug, cold or flu.  You can learn more about the uncoventional ways we fight colds and flus here.  A true bone broth is rich in micronutrients and easy to assimilate minerals, particularly calcium which makes the inclusion of broth essential for those who follow a dairy-free diet by either choice or necessity; moreover, broth is rich in amino acids like glycine and proline.  Glycine plays a critical role in detoxiication and both amino acids as well as other nutrients found in broth contribute to healthy skin and hair.

Preparing this soup over the weekend, I started with a whole duck: cutting away its skin and fat to render, slicing its meat for the soup pot and roasting its bones for a beautiful broth.  To make the duck stock, I roasted the duck bones, covered them with filtered water and seasoned the broth with ginger, leek, garlic and chilies.  I love the way ginger infuses its perfume in a good broth – it’s aromatic, peppery and floral all at once.

In this recipe for egg drop soup, I combined that nutrient-rich, revitalizing broth with farm eggs – rich in fat soluble vitamins including immune-boosting vitamin A.  Aromatic vegetables like ginger not only add interest, flavor and fragrance to this egg drop soup, but also help to soothe a troubled stomach.  In many ways, a soup such as this illustrates how real food can be both beautiful on its own and life-giving in its nature.

egg drop soup with duck and aromatic vegetables

By support Published: November 9, 2011

  • Yield: about 6 servings.
  • Prep: 30 minutes mins

Seasoned with ginger, shallots, carrots and scallions, this egg drop soup is deeply aromatic. Take care to choose a good rich stock like this Asian-inspired chicken foot stock which combines chilies, lemongrass and garlic.


  • 2 tbsp rendered duck fat or coconut oil
  • 1/2 pound duck meat (sliced thin)
  • 1 inch knob ginger (peeled and cut into matchsticks)
  • 3 medium carrots (scraped and cut into matchsticks)
  • 2 shallots (peeled and sliced thin)
  • 1/2 lb mushrooms (sliced thin, any will do, shiitakes are nice but I used trumpet)
  • 2 quart duck stock or chicken feet stock
  • 3 eggs (beaten)
  • 3 scallions (finely sliced)


  1. Melt coconut oil in a heavy-bottomed stock pot over a moderately high flame and toss in sliced duck meat. Stir fry the duck meat in coconut oil until cooked through, about four to five minutes. Transfer the duck meat to a plate and add mushrooms, ginger, carrots and shallot to the pot, stirring frequently until they release their aroma.
  2. Return cooked duck meat to the pot and pour two quarts stock into the pot. Bring to a boil and simmer for twenty minutes.
  3. Increase the heat and bring the soup to a brisk boil. Pour beaten eggs into the pot in a very thin stream, stir the soup and give the soup a stir before garnishing with finely sliced scallions.

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What people are saying

  1. Jeannette says

    It looks like you’ve got it pretty much covered except I usually add something spicy like chili flakes. Seems like I also read something recently about sweet and sour soup having tremendous healing properties but can’t put my hands on the article for the details. It’s probably attributed to something that you’ve already got in the egg drop soup though. I love ginger and garlic for days when we’re sick – other times too. I also like to use essential oils like eucalyptus, lavender… Just came across a recipe for a natural menthol rub for the bottom of feet that sounds promising http://www.smallfootprintfamily.com/stopping-the-cough-naturally/. Best of luck with the healing!

  2. says

    Really nice, simple recipe. Just wanted to say that I always appreciate your blog. The recipes are clear and pay attention to flavor and not just nutrition. The photos are well done and always make me hungry! Great work!

  3. Janet Jackson says

    I was wondering where I can get duck? I rarely find it in any store and when I do, the cost makes it extremely prohibitive. Will chicken do the same?

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