Serves 1 (but easily doubles, triples, quadruples)

I first made this soup on a camp stove in my camper van during a six-month road trip, and then again and again and again as the nights grew colder, snowier, windier, darker. It starts with instant soup noodle mix—never leave home without it!—and then follows along the tradition of stracciatella, egg drop soup, hot and sour soup, and sopa de ajo, which are all cloudy with ribbons of egg. As the soup mix simmers, beat an egg in a soup bowl (the warm soup will cook any egg stuck to the bowl). Tear vegetables with your hands to save a knife and cutting board. Add the vegetables towards the end of the soup simmering, then stream in the egg. In a few seconds, what appears resembles clouds, or maybe rags (straccetti means “little rags”), or flowers (the direct translation of the Chinese name for egg drop soup is “egg flower soup”). In one pot, in a few minutes, on a stovetop or campfire, this soup is there for you: starch, vegetable, protein, warmth, comfort, and all.


  • 1 packet favorite instant soup mix (I like Shin Ramyun or Lipton Soup Mix Extra Noodle)

  • 1 cup bite-size pieces of cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, broccoli rabe, broccolini, kale, bok choy, or cabbage

  • 1 large egg


1. Prepare the soup mix in a medium saucepan according to package directions. In the last three minutes of boiling, add the vegetables.

2. Meanwhile, in one of your soup bowls, beat the egg with a fork until no streaks remain.

3. Remove the soup from the heat. Stir the soup with one hand while you pour the eggs into the soup with the other. In a few seconds, strands—or flowers, or rags—of egg will appear. The faster your stir, the thinner the strands.