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Stracciatella Soup: A Comforting Italian Egg Drop Soup

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Stracciatella soup, not to be confused with the creamy cheese found in gelato, is a classic Italian egg drop soup known for its simplicity and comforting qualities. Originating from Rome, this soup features a delicate broth infused with spinach and enriched with strands of beaten eggs, resulting in a light yet satisfying dish. Perfect for cold weather or when you need a quick, nourishing meal, Stracciatella soup exemplifies Italian cuisine’s ability to turn humble ingredients into something truly delightful.

Introduction to Stracciatella Soup

Stracciatella soup’s name is derived from the Italian word “stracciare,” meaning “to shred” or “to tear.” The shredded appearance of the eggs in the soup gives it a distinctive texture, reminiscent of delicate threads or ribbons floating in the broth. This soup is often enjoyed as a starter to a meal or as a light lunch, accompanied by crusty bread or a side salad for a complete dining experience.

Ingredients

For the Soup Base:

  • 6 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 2 cups fresh spinach leaves, coarsely chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg (optional)

For the Egg Mixture:

  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley

Instructions

1. Prepare the Soup Base:

  • In a large pot, bring the chicken or vegetable broth to a gentle simmer over medium heat.

2. Add the Spinach:

  • Stir in the chopped spinach leaves and season with salt, pepper, and grated nutmeg, if using. Let the spinach wilt in the simmering broth for about 2-3 minutes.

3. Prepare the Egg Mixture:

  • While the soup is simmering, in a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, grated Parmesan cheese, and chopped parsley until well combined.

4. Add the Egg Mixture to the Soup:

  • Once the spinach is wilted, reduce the heat to low. Slowly pour the egg mixture into the simmering soup in a steady stream, using a fork or whisk to gently stir the soup in a circular motion as you pour.

5. Create Strands of Egg:

  • Continue stirring gently for about 1-2 minutes, or until the eggs have formed delicate strands or ribbons in the soup. Be careful not to over-stir, as you want the egg strands to remain light and fluffy.

6. Serve Immediately:

  • Ladle the Stracciatella soup into serving bowls. Garnish with additional grated Parmesan cheese and fresh parsley, if desired.
  • Serve hot, accompanied by crusty bread or breadsticks for dipping.

Tips for Success

  • Broth Quality: Use homemade chicken or vegetable broth for the best flavor. If using store-bought broth, opt for low-sodium varieties to control the soup’s saltiness.
  • Egg Technique: The key to achieving perfect egg strands is to pour the egg mixture into the hot broth slowly and stir gently and consistently. This technique ensures that the eggs cook evenly and form delicate threads.
  • Flavor Variations: Enhance the soup’s flavor by adding a squeeze of fresh lemon juice or a dash of ground nutmeg. You can also incorporate cooked small pasta like orzo or acini di pepe for added texture.
  • Storage and Reheating: Stracciatella soup is best enjoyed fresh but can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Reheat gently over low heat to avoid overcooking the eggs.

Conclusion

Stracciatella soup exemplifies Italian cuisine’s ability to transform simple ingredients into a dish that is both comforting and flavorful. With its delicate strands of egg floating in a savory broth infused with spinach and Parmesan cheese, this soup offers a taste of Italy’s culinary heritage. Whether enjoyed as a starter or a light meal, Stracciatella soup provides warmth and nourishment, making it a beloved dish in Italian households and restaurants alike. Embrace the tradition of Stracciatella soup and savor its simplicity and satisfying flavors that bring comfort to any table.

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Written by Robert Zelesky

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