Day: December 18, 2021

Eggflower soup or the Italian Zuppa Stracciatella

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Stracciatella in Italian, a diminutive, derived from the verb stracciare (“to shred”), meaning “a little shred”, there are two different food related stuffs exist in Italy: the Stracciatella alla romana, which is a soup consisting of meat broth and small shreds of an egg-based mixture, prepared by drizzling the mixture into boiling broth and stirring. It is popular around Rome in the Lazio region of central Italy especially at Christmas time. And the other one which is more well known is the ice cream, the Stracciatella soup inspired the gelato (Italian ice-cream) flavour of the same name which was created in 1962 by a restaurateur in the northern town of Bergamo, who claimed he had grown tired of stirring eggs into broth to satisfy customers from Rome.

The zanzarelli is a similar soup, was described by Martino da Como in his 15th century manual, The Art of Cooking. Other variants exist.

Traditionally stracciatella alla romana used to be served at the start of Easter lunches. Stracciatella alla romana is traditionally prepared by beating eggs and mixing in grated parmesan, cheese. salt and pepper, numeg, lemon zest and sometimes semolina; this mixture is then gently drizzled into boiling meat broth, while stirring so as to produce little shreds (“stracciatelle“) of cooked egg in the soup. The resulting soup can be served in bowls containing a few thin slices of toasted bread, with additional parmesan grated on top. Food historians said that the stracciatella alla romana used also to be scented with marjoram. Other traditional Italian and Italian-American recipes suggest garnishing with chopped parsley or spinach as a main ingredient.

The traditional preparation of stracciatella is also rather similar to that of sciusceddu, a rich festive soup from Messina in Sicily. that may be a cousin of the Roman dish.

The Zuppa pavese is consisting of broth into which slices of stale bread and poached eggs are placed.

Ginestrata is also a kind of egg-based soup in the Italian cuisine that originated in Tuscany. That can be described as a thin, lightly spiced egg-based soup. Egg yolk, chicken stock, Marsala wine or white wine, butter, nutmeg and sugar are primary ingredients. Additional ingredients may include different types of wine, such as Madeira wine and cinnamon. It may also be served as an antipasto dish, the first course of a formal Italian meal. Ginestrata may be strained using a sieve. It may be prepared using a double boiler for cooking, and the nutmeg and sugar may be served atop it as a garnish. It may also be cooked in an earthenware  pot. It is a thin soup that only slightly thickens when the cooking process is complete.

The soup dates to the Middle Ages in Tuscany, Italy, when it was prepared by the families of married people the day after their wedding, to “revive the flagging spirits of the bride and groom

The Egg drop soup is a Chinese egg soup of wispy beaten beaten eggs in chicken broth. Condiments such as black or white pepper, and finely chopped scallions and tofu are commonly added to the soup. The soup is made by adding a thin stream of beaten eggs to the boiling broth in the final moments of cooking, creating thin, silken strands or flakes of cooked egg that float in the soup.

These kinds of egg drop soups have a thinner consistency than most common Western variants. Depending on the region, they may be garnished with ingredients such as tofu, scallion corn.

Egg-based soups in the European cuisine

In France, tourin, a garlic soup, is made with egg whites which are drizzled into the soup in a similar way to how traditional egg drop soup is made.

In Spain, the similar and traditional sopa de ajo (“garlic soup”) uses egg whites to thicken the broth in a similar way.

In Austria and in Hungary the egg drop soup (Eierflockensuppe or Eierflöckchensuppe  is a simple, traditional recipe generally made for very young children or sick people. Scrambled eggs are mixed with flour and then poured into boiling soup in order to make small egg dumplings Spices can be added to the egg-flour mixture according to taste.

There is a similar recipe in Polish cuisine (kluski lane, lit. ‘poured noodles’), with the egg-flour mixture either poured directly into soup, or into boiling water, then strained and added to a soup or sauce. For children, often simmering milk (optionally with sugar) is used in place of soup.

In Russia, semolina is usually boiled in the chicken stock before the eggs are whisked in for a more substantial result, and flavored with chopped scallion and black pepper Simple egg dough dumplings similar to lazy varenik or the Ukrainian halusky are a frequent addition in the southern regions.

In Cyprus and Greece the egg is beaten and then slowly stirred in the soup so it does not curdle. Lemon and rice are the additional ingredients besides the chicken stock to make avgolemono, originally a dish from Jewish cuisine.

Zuppa Stracciatella

The idea of this soup isn’t uniquely Italian. It is really no more than another version of the Hungarian egg drop soup with an Italian twist. For the one, the eggs are mixed with Parmesan cheese to thicken the pasta of cooked egg in the soup. Put a few slices of artisan salume and a mix of marinated olives on the side and you have one fabulous winter meal.

Ingredients: 6 cups good quality chicken broth or stock
2 large eggs, beaten
1 tsp grated Parmesan
fresh Italian parsley and basil
1 cup baby spinach, cut in thin strips

Methods: In a large saucepan, bring the stock to a boil. Meanwhile, mix the cheese, parsley and basil with the beaten eggs. Stirring quickly in a clockwise motion, gradually drizzle the egg mixture into the hot stock, creating thready strips. Season the soup with salt and pepper.
For my variation, I added in a cup of  some lovely prosciutto tortellini and cooked it until the pasta was al dente and hot throughout.
Toss the spinach in just before serving so it doesn’t lose its fresh green color.

Chinese eggdrop soup

Ingredients:

4 cups salt reduced chicken stock

2 large tomatoes, chopped

2 tsp reduced salt soy sauce

1 tsp caster sugar

white pepper, to taste

1 tsp sesame oil

2 eggs, lightly beaten

2 green onions, sliced diagonally

2 tbs torn coriander leaves

Methods:

Combine the stock, tomatoes, soy sauce and sugar in a large saucepan. Bring to the boil reduce the heat slightly and simmer for 2 minutes. Season with a little white pepper and the sesame oil. Add the eggs in a thin stream, while stirring the soup in a clockwise direction, to form thin stream of egg. Let stand for 1 minute, then serve in deep bowls, topped with green onions and coriander.