Swiss Chard Stracciatella Soup, a simple quick and easy recipe that has so much flavor and a healthy choice for you, New Year resolutioners.
Swiss Chard Stracciatella Soup, a healthy choice to start your new year right, with the flavors of blanched Swiss chard, and scrambled eggs swimming in a light and delicious vegetable broth, packed with nutrients. This dish will definitely make your bank account happy too!
I know you hear stracciatella and you're thinking ice cream or gelato with chocolate flakes swirled into it, or maybe, you're thinking cheesy strands used to make burrata, a buttery cheese enclosed in fresh mozzarella. I would have to say no on both accounts, not that they're wrong, but this is a soup. Stracciatella is known in the region of Lazio, Italy. The traditional way is just to have broth and the strands of eggs. In Italian stracci means little strands which is what happens to the eggs as you slowly stir the broth and drizzle the scrambled eggs in. In my parents home, it was usually made for special Sunday lunch or on important occasions, and with a variation, such as making it with tiny meatballs. Today we are going to make it with a green, Swiss chard. Some refer to this dish as an egg drop soup, whatever you want to call it one thing remains the same, the deliciousness of this dish!
Swiss Chard Stracciatella Soup, going back in time to my childhood.
It's Sunday morning, and I am awakened by the sound of soup broth cooking. I stumble into the kitchen and my mother and father are working away preparing food for our Sunday feast. My nonna will join us later when my father Americo, brother Mauro, and I will pick her up. I love the smell of broth whether chicken, beef or vegetable. The best part the beginning when you start sauteing the mirepoix, a combination of celery, carrots, and onions. These beginnings to my cooking world taught me that working together and with love made any dish taste so good. I loved when my mom, dad, and nonna, were at the table rolling little meatballs. The mix a blend of ground beef and veal, with herbs, breadcrumbs, and Parmigiano cheese. I would get right in there and start rolling my own and having small hands worked well to shape these meatballs into little pearls that would go into the broth, with some wilted spinach and then the scrambled egg mixture. I listened as we all worked and my mom, dad, and nonna told stories of the "old country", referring to their lives in Italy. As a child I formed pictures in my mind of that time, what it looked like, the aromas, the energy, I was taken back in time and as I listened more intently the sounds became deep and distant in a day dream I went, only to be startled by my mom Illia saying to me: "where did you go and why are you not answering me!" and I would answer: "I went to Italy". She would give me this funny look and tell me to wash my hands and get ready for lunch. The soup amazing with the light and fluffy strands of egg, mixed with the spinach, broth, and those luxurious little meatballs. These are my childhood memoirs, where I began my passion for cooking, food, and culture. Nicoletta always asks me how I make such wonderful soups, and here is your answer, experiences......
Later in life, I would find myself in Italy, thanks to my lovely wife, standing on the very ground that the stories of my parents and nonna came to be. It was strange but I felt as though I had been there before and also a feeling that I belonged there. Maybe osmosis or genetic memory, whatever it may be it was a beautiful experience for me. Enough nostalgia and I have strayed away a bit. I just wanted to share a bit of my childhood so you can understand my passion for certain things. Now let's get back to our Swiss Chard Stracciatella Soup!
I used a vegetable broth as Nicoletta is mostly vegetarian. I also love the flavor, light, low in fats, and besides we will get some protein from the eggs that will be dropped in soon. Vegetable stock is quite easy to make, a quick saute of onions, carrots, celery, garlic, and any other vegetable that you may have in the fridge or pantry that needs to be used up. Even the husks of the onions are left on. This will ensure a most flavorful and robust stock. Add in water, bay leaf, salt and pepper and some time for all those ingredients to get to know each other and your stock is almost done. The final stage is to screen it and then place all that lovely golden stock into a jar, and in the fridge it goes till you are ready to use it. So stock ready, all we need is the Swiss chard bought from Blush Lane Organic Market, which Nicoletta washed and I blanched in boiling water, and the egg mixture of course organic free range picked up at Sunworks at The Old Strathcona Farmers Market. A blend of eggs, salt, pepper, grated Parmigiano Reggiano, a pinch of nutmeg, a pinch of parsley, and this is ready but don't blend it yet. It's best blended right before you pour it in.
So let's get this soup going. A nice soup pot with the broth coming to a low simmer and in goes the blanched Swiss chard that I cut into small strands. Take the egg mixture and whisk with a fork until well blended. Grab a wooden spoon and stir the soup, while stirring slowly drop the eggs mixture in, and then let it simmer for a minute or so. You will see the strands of eggs swirling and dancing with the broth and Swiss chard, absolutely a foodie ballet.
The smell is wonderful, the richness of all those vegetables that simmered for hours intensifying the broth. The Swiss chard with its sweet earthy aroma, and the pungent so familiar scent of the Parmigiano, and that nutmeg always warming. I am ready with spoon in hand to taste this soup.
This soup is heaven in a spoon. The broth light, fragrant, rich, flavorful, the Swiss chard tender, with that slight sweet earthiness and velvety texture, then the eggs, plump, smooth. I love the way it just melts in your mouth, Parmigiano and nutmeg tantalizing your tastebuds.
It's a new year, and we are all thinking what we want to accomplish, how can we be more healthy, the gyms are packed. I am in the kitchen brewing up a pot of this Swiss chard Stracciatella Soup. COME AND GET IT!
Song of the Day: "Wonderful Life" by Zucchero.Print
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