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Year of the Soup: Week 20

I had a roommate in college who used to make the same meal for dinner about three times a week.  Basically she’d boil orzo in chicken broth and throw Parmesan cheese in it.  My second roommate and I always made faces when she made that dish, because of how it made the house smell.  It seemed so unappealing that neither of us could imagine why she made it or where she came up with it.

Fast forward to yesterday, about halfway through making this week’s soup.  It was just after pouring the orzo into the broth when I started measuring the Parmesan cheese that I realized I was essentially making her strange meal.  She had Italian roots, and she must have been making her own variation of this soup (just without the nutritional parts of spinach and egg.)  Reminded of the smell of that dish, I was hesitant to taste this soup just because of the bad memories.  But it turns out the spinach and egg really make a big difference, and this soup is excellent.  It has both brothy and creamy aspects, because of the egg, and the fresh spinach is delicious.  (A good way to use spinach from the farmer’s market that’s starting to get a little old in the fridge, fyi.)

So my apologies to that old roommate for judging her “weird” dish.  I suppose it all makes sense now.  :)  But I do highly recommend adding the egg and the spinach.  If nothing else, it’s far more appetizing than without.

Stracciatella (Italian Egg Drop Soup)

  • 3 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1/4 cup orzo
  • 3 packed cups fresh spinach
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 Tbs. grated Parmesan cheese
  1. Bring vegetable broth and 1 1/2 cups water to a simmer in medium-size pot over high heat. Add pasta, and cook 11 minutes, or until tender.
  2. Stir in spinach, and simmer 1 minute, or until wilted.
  3. Whisk eggs with Parmesan in small bowl. Remove from heat. Swirl soup in pot, and pour egg mixture in slow stream to create strands. Let sit 1 minute. Stir soup with fork to break up egg strands. Season with salt and pepper, and serve immediately.
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