Traditional Cawl Bara Lawr
“Ah, cold salt mutton. I must be home. When I break my fast on gulls’ eggs and seaweed soup, I’ll be certain of it.” -A Storm of Swords
Modern Egg Drop Seaweed Soup
Cawl bara lawr is popular with the coastal folk of Wales for more reasons than just ingredient availability- it’s creamy, hearty texture bolsters one up on cold, blustery, winter days. Though perhaps not the prettiest soup to grace our tables, the complexity of flavor was certainly surprising. The saltiness of the laver is well-balanced by the sweetness of the parsnips (always sweeter after the first frost!). As for the “gull’s egg”, we settled for quail. May is gull egg season, and they are even harder to come by here in the US than they are in the UK. Nonetheless, the addition of a fried egg to our hearty breakfast added the protein the soup lacked.
Our modern seaweed egg drop soup is a bit of a stretch from what is described in the book. However, it is a wonderful combination of flavors and textures. The soup is surprisingly hearty, the mushrooms, seaweed and egg combining to make a dish substantial enough to be a meal in itself. Low in calories and effort and high in nutrients, this is a winter time must!