IS THERE ANYTHING MORE PERFECT THAN AN EGG?
I have been buying the most beautiful, organic eggs from a local place here in Cologne called Sielsdorfer Gäensehof. The yolks are literally like balls of setting sun, they are so deeply orange. I cannot get enough of them. Eggs are one of nature’s most perfect foods and I am finding egg dish after egg dish to make. Couple that with all the wonderful veggies showing up in the market. In Germany farmer’s markets mean quite literally farms that have markets. What we think of as a farmer’s market is a very different concept. On weekends there are many Wochenmarkt, which is a weekend market. There may be a farmer or two, a cheesemaker, and someone with fresh cuts of meat, but it may also have vendors with antiques, clothing, toys, arts and crafts, and the list goes on.
Missing my farmers
I do not miss the snow in Maine this winter. Full disclosure. But I do miss the farmers and the growers with their hoop houses and knowing where everything we eat comes from. And perhaps this is why I have fallen head over heels for these beautiful eggs. I know where they are coming from. I have spoken directly to the person who knows the chicken who laid the egg that went into my Stracciatella Soup. And in that there is sheer comfort.
On top of coming up with lots of egg recipes, when I stumbled across a small bag of locally grown spinach at the grocery store, it seemed like a match made in heaven. On the lookout for sticking to mending, healing, comfort for my healing child, blending the eggs and spinach was a perfect pairing. If you are not familiar with Stracciatella, it is an Italian staple soup. Ingredients are easily found. It can be made in a matter of minutes. It is filling, soothing, and makes good use of all those eggs that are stacked on the fridge shelves.
The soup containing egg with which we are most familiar is Chinese Egg Drop Soup, which has been a standard on Chinese restaurant menus for decades, but we frequently forget about the Italian counterpart. Those are but two on the laundry list of cuisines that drop an egg in a bowl of hot water or broth, and vegetables, meat, and noodles. Mix it with bok choy and ramen, and you’ve got a Japanese inspired blend. Add a little paprika and garlic, toss in the egg, and a Spanish version is underway.
Eggs are full of protein, vitamins and minerals. They play an important role in providing nutrients for healthy brain, eyes and skin
- 4oz/225g spinach (fresh or frozen)
- 2 large shallots, cut in a small dice
- 4 cups/1L chicken or vegetable broth
- grated parmesan, optional
- 6 large eggs, beaten
- salt and pepper, to taste
- cayenne or Tabasco, to taste, optional
Rinse spinach if using fresh.
Drain if using frozen.
Heat a few tablespoons of olive oil in a large pot.
Add shallots and cook until they soften.
Add spinach and cook down.
With a whisk, begin to stir the broth with one hand, and slowly pour in the beaten eggs with the other. The idea is to break the eggs into little ribbons.
Add salt and pepper, cayenne or Tabasco to taste.
Serve in individual bowls with grated parmesan on top, if desired.
Serve with some warm garlic bread. It can be a stand alone meal, or add a grilled chicken breast on a side plate if soup does not seem like a whole meal.