Ok. Deep breath. I have a confession to make and it’s not a pretty one. I, a foodie, have been on a juice cleanse for the past 6 days. Yes, SIX days. I did not chew a single bite of food. Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t actually hungry on my juice cleanse. But I miss food. Yesterday was my last day. Hallllelujah! Do you know how difficult it is cooking meals for the family when all you have to look forward to is drinking a bottle of juice that tastes like grass?
Coming off the cleanse, I need to give my tummy a little bit of a rest. Unfortunately, no steaks or fried foods for me. What can I eat that the family will enjoy, as well? I figured soup was a safe route to go. Luckily, TJ enjoys stracciatella soup, or Roman style egg-drop soup, so there were no objections. Also, it works out perfectly because we made those meatballs this past weekend so we can serve some up if TJ needs a bit more protein with his soup.
You may be wondering – “Stracciatella, isn’t that an ice cream?” Why, yes. Yes, it is. Stracciatella just means “torn apart” in Italian. The term can refer to ice cream (stracciatella ice cream usually just refers to vanilla ice cream with chocolate shavings – chocolate ‘torn apart’), soup, and cheese. The “stracciatella” in this case refers to the “shreds” of egg mixture in the soup.
Sounds fancy, doesn’t it? Sure it does! Go ahead and impress your friends by making them some stracciatella soup. You don’t have to tell them how easy it actually was!
The soup itself is super easy to make. Now, if you have the time to make a homemade chicken stock, by all means, go for it! Yes, the stock takes a bit of time and a bit more effort, but your efforts will pay off. I have included a recipe for a homemade chicken stock below. Tonight, however, I will be using an Organic Free-Range Chicken Broth (low sodium) from Trader Joe’s. Go Trader Joe’s! Here we go (and apologies for the photos – it was already nighttime when I made this tonight – so the lighting just sucked).
What You’ll Need:
6 cups chicken stock
3 tablespoons semolina
3 tablespoons grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
1 tablespoon Italian parsley, finely chopped
A generous pinch of nutmeg
Salt and pepper to taste
What You’ll Do:
Ready for this easy recipe? Measure out 1 of the 6 cups of chicken stock and refrigerate so that it is chilled. Meanwhile, in a large pot, bring the remaining 5 cups of chicken stock to a boil.
Whisk the mixture until it is well blended.
Once the stock is boiling, drizzle the egg mixture into the broth, whisking the mixture/broth. Reduce the heat to low while continuing to whisk for a few minutes. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper to your taste. Serve immediately, topped with more grated cheese if desired. That’s it! A fancy soup with little effort!
To our soup, I added our meatballs at the bottom of the bowl and ladled some soup on top. I also added some spinach right before the soup was done for some extra oomph. Too bad you can’t see all the good lil’ egg “drops” in this picture…but it sure was delicious!
We like our stracciatella soup with spinach. About a minute before your soup is done, just drop in 1 cup of spinach (cut into thin strips). Yum! You can also serve this soup with some pastina (“little pasta”) pasta. Pastina almost looks like rice. Cook up like you would pasta and then scoop some into your soup bowl. Then, simply pour a serving of soup right on top of the pasta! We are serving ours tonight, as I mentioned earlier, over the meatballs we made this past weekend. Though this is traditionally made with a chicken stock, you can always sub out the stock for a vegetarian broth if you’re vegetarian.
Homemade Chicken Stock
What You’ll Need:
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 1/2 pounds chicken wings, backs, and bones
3 carrots, coarsely chopped
2 onions, coarsely chopped
4 ribs celery, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
1 bunch parsley stems
What You’ll Do:
In a large saucepan, heat the oil over high heat until smoking. Add the chicken and brown all over, stirring so the chicken doesn’t burn. Remove the chicken and set aside. Add the carrots, onions, and celery to the pot and cook until soft and browned. Return the chicken to the pot and add 3 quarts of water, tomato paste, peppercorns, and parsley. Stir with a wooden spoon to dislodge the yummy chicken and veggie bits from the bottom of the pan. Bring almost to a boil, then reduce the heat and cook at a low simmer until it is reduced by about half (about 2 hours), occasionally skimming excess fat off the top. Remove from the heat, strain, and then press on the solids with the back/bottom of a ladle to get out all the juicy goodness. Stir the stock and set aside. Refrigerate the stock in small containers for up to a week or freeze for up to a month. This yields about 1.5 quarts.
Told you this was an easy soup to make and, more importantly, it Tastes Oh-So-Good!
~ M ~