My first recollection of Stracciatella also known as egg drop soup is at an Italian wedding many years ago. Back then almost every wedding reception dinner began with a steaming bowl of these egg strands in chicken broth sometimes with added tiny meatballs and finely chopped dandelion greens.
Over the years I’ve come across variations of this recipe including the addition of spinach or semolina but I prefer to keep it simple using only eggs, grated cheese, freshly chopped Italian parsley and good home made chicken broth.
I don’t remember following any particular recipe when I began making Stracciatella for my family but have continued making it in the same uncomplicated way for years many times using left over chicken broth from a previous dinner. A little bowl goes a long way.
There’s a little story behind my recipe for Stracciatella. I made it often when my children were young but I knew that if my daughter ever saw me pouring eggs into some hot soup there would be little chance of her eating it.
I would make sure she was nowhere near the kitchen to witness the preparation and she grew up believing it was actually pasta in the soup and not egg. It became known as “fluffy pasta” at our house and she along with everyone else enjoyed it for years. Many times her curiosity lead her to wonder what packaging this “fluffy pasta” came in and she would ask me to call her into the kitchen when I was ready to cook it so she could see.
I went to great lengths to keep the truth from her. Somehow there was always a good reason why her curiosity was never satisfied. What can I say; a mother’s got to do what a mother’s got to do for the good of her children.
I don’t know exactly when it happened but the truth eventually came out.
I recently asked her when the great realization occurred and she couldn't clearly remember. Perhaps it doesn't really matter since she still likes it and I haven't heard any complaints on the matter.
I think it's safe to say I’ve been forgiven!
I usually don’t use exact measurements when making this. I assess the amount of broth and eyeball the rest of the ingredients. For this post the broth was measured and as much of the remaining ingredients required were added. Measurements need not be exact but this recipe will give a starting point.
4 cups clear chicken or turkey broth.
3 large eggs
about 1/2 cup finely grated cheese
3 to 4 tablespoons finely chopped fresh Italian parsley
salt and pepper to taste.
- Finely chop parsley.
- In a bowl beat the eggs, parsley, cheese, salt and pepper very well, set aside.
- Heat broth to the point of boiling but do not allow to boil.
- Add egg mixture in a thin, steady stream into the hot broth stirring vigorously with a fork until mixture begins to cook and come together in fine strands.
- Remove from heat and continue to stir with fork separating the egg mixture. (you don’t want scrambled eggs)
- Serve hot with extra grated cheese.
Notes, Tips and Suggestions
- Stracciatella can be made ahead but egg mixture may begin to come together and begin looking like scrambled eggs if left too long. At this point use a wisk or an electric beater attaching only one wisk to the beater to break it apart and once again become “fluffy pasta”.
- If you decide to add some spinach, chop some tender spinach leaves and add to the hot mixture just before serving, the heat of the broth will cook the spinach sufficiently.
- Sometimes a few tablespoons of semolina is beaten into the egg mixture to keep the eggs from scrambling when added to the hot soup. I’ve never found this necessary, vigorously wisking egg mixture with a fork into the very hot broth works well in achieving those lovely egg strands.
- A good quality store bought chicken broth will also work quite well.