This is the time of year when people start taking comfort food seriously. There’s something about this that I’ve always felt a little suspect; I mean, I don’t know about you, but I’ve had plenty of summertime experiences that have made me crying out for comfort in any form, food or otherwise. And yet, it’s hard to deny that once the air starts to cool and the leaves have long since left their branches, nothing seems as appealing as a steaming bowl of soup. This particular soup gets the job done better than most, laden as it is with chunks of chicken, silky rice, and a yolk-infused, magically creamy-without-any-cream, citrus-bright broth. It comes courtesy of two of our favorite Brooklyn chefs, brothers Max and Eli Sussman, who serve this soup at Ed and Bev’s, one of their two pop-up restaurants (the other is the Middle Eastern spot, Samesa) at Berg’n, in Crown Heights. Which, another comforting thought: If you don’t feel like going through the trouble to cook this for yourself (though you really should), you can always pop over to Berg’n and get comforted there.
Ed and Bev’s: 899 Bergen Street, Crown Heights
AKA CHICKEN LEMON RICE SOUP
Courtesy of Max and Eli Sussman, chefs at Ed and Bev’s and Samesa, authors of This Is a Cookbook, Best Cookbook Ever, and Classic Recipes for Modern People
2 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs, 3-4 pounds
3 quarts chicken stock
2 teaspoons ground white pepper
1 cup arborio rice
yolks of 5 large eggs
3 lemons, juiced (about 1/2 cup, more if desired)
1. Cover the chicken thighs with the chicken stock and bring to asimmer. Simmer for 30 minutes, until tender. Remove from stock, let cool and pick into bite size pieces.
2. Add white pepper to the stock and bring to a simmer. Add the riceand simmer for 1 hour, stirring regularly, until thickened.
3. Add the chicken and lemon juice back to the pot and simmer for another 5 minutes. Turn off heat.
4. Whisk the yolks together in a medium mixing bowl. Very slowly, 1 spoonful at a time, add in about a third of the soup, whisking constantly to prevent scrambling the eggs. When the egg/soup mixture is warm to the touch, whisk it back into the soup pot.
5. Taste and adjust seasoning and serve immediately.