This was originally a totally ad hoc soup but it has become a family favorite. I make a soup of broth, tiny pasta and carrots (we call it Frog Eye soup, after the pasta) but then one day I had started making that and decided to turn it into a meal and added some spinach and meatballs, then read about stracciatelle soup somewhere so added the eggs.
When my daughter came home from school today feeling a bit sick she asked for it for dinner. I normally use chicken broth but had turkey broth in the freezer now so that’s what I used. I luckily had a large supply of baby spinach leaves in the frig that I’d bought a few days ago. Last time I made meatballs, I made some regular size and some tiny ones thinking of this soup, so used the last of the tiny ones up tonight. I love having building blocks in the freezer like this. (I used the rest of the tiny meatballs in some baked ziti earlier.)
- 6 cups chicken or turkey broth
- 1/2 cup tiny pasta (pastina or anci de pepe, our favorite)
- 1 tsp fresh parsley, chopped
- 1/2 tsp dried marjoram
- 1 carrot, peeled and sliced into thin rounds
- 1/2 pound spinach, sliced thinly (julienne or chiffonade I think is the “proper” term)
- 1/2 pound of small tiny meatballs (or large if that’s all you have!)
- 2 eggs
- grated Parmesan cheese at the table
Bring the broth to a simmer and add the pasta, parsley, marjoram, carrot, spinach and meatballs. Simmer, covered partially, until the pasta is done (about 9 minutes for my frog eye balls) and the meat is heated through (if you started with frozen, as I did, it seemed to be done just fine in 9-10 minutes).
In a small bowl, whisk together the two eggs, then pour into the broth while stirring. If you stick a wooden spoon or a fork up against the bowl and pour across it, it breaks the eggs into smaller streams which is what you want. Stracciatelle means “rags” and that’s what the eggs look like as they cook in the broth, similar to Egg Drop Soup if you like Chinese food. I suspect most cuisines have a similar soup with eggs in it.
Try to get the eggs in a thin stream and stir the soup as you pour. Stirring with a whisk would probably help but I just now thought of that! Anyway, you want strings of egg. Put the lid on, turn the heat off, and let the soup sit a few minutes while you set the table, then dish up!
Serve with some grated Parmesan cheese for those that like it.
Pure comfort food yet full of protein and vegetables.0