Soup is in these days (yes, you might rightfully ask: when was it ever out?) If cool cities like Portland are an indication, soup is having a moment. I’ve seen hardy entrepreneurs load homemade soup into specially crafted thermal boxes fitted on the racks of their bicycles for delivery to hungry people around downtown Portland, sometimes with freshly baked bread on the side. I know there are lots of other cool cities with soup carts and bicycles but I’m just speaking from my personal experience in that particular one.
My sister-in-law lives in Portland, which is arguably the food truck capital of the world. And also maybe the rainy day capital of the world, so it makes a lot of sense that the demand for warm, comforting bowls of soup would be higher given the situation. When she was visiting recently, we talked about how we don’t seem to treat soup as a full meal. Or rather, I realized that I don’t. She goes out to the soup cart for lunch, after all.
It’s something I mean to change. I might even call it a New Year’s resolution – to make more soup! My son loves nothing more than eating soup, with the very strong exception of soup containing any form of seafood; so I know I have at least one taker.
This homey egg drop soup - stracciatella - is as Italian-grandma as it gets. Except for I don’t remember either of my Italian grandmothers making it – a loss I can easily get over now that I’m a big girl.
You might know what happens to eggs when mixed with hot liquids, but the magic of this soup is that combined with fine semolina, they turn a basic broth into a creamy soup filled with “tiny shreds” of egg, the stracciatelle. I added some potato and kale to my soup to make it even more of a nourishing meal. It must be the Italian mama in me or something.
The semolina flour swells as it cooks, giving the soup a creamy consistency. I like Asiago here; it's like a combination of Parmesan and Pecorino Romano, but Parmesan will be delicious that's all you have.
1 tablespoon olive oil or butter
2 small Yukon Gold potatoes, diced (about 1 cup)
1/2 onion, finely chopped
4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
2 tablespoons semolina flour
2 tablespoons freshly grated Asiago or Parmesan cheese
1 1/2 cups finely shredded kale
- Heat the oil or butter in a heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add the potato and cook for 2 minutes; stir in the onion with 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook for a few more minutes.
- Pour in 1 cup of the broth, lower the heat, cover the pan and cook until the potato is soft.
- Whisk together 1 cup broth in a bowl with the eggs, flour and cheese.
- Add the remaining 2 cups broth to the pan and bring to a boil.
- Slowly add the egg mixture to pan, whisking constantly; turn the heat down to low and continue whisking for 2 minutes, until the soup thickens.
- Stir in the kale. Serve in bowls with additional cheese, if you like.
inspired by Mario Batali