Piping warm homemade chicken broth afloat with egg curds is a quintessential spring soup–simple, pure, uncomplicated, refreshing, soothing. The nutritious chicken broth is the main point. Together with the egg and gussied up with shredded young spring greens, here dandelion, it’s a paen to new beginnings, a celebration of health, an elegant opening for a spring party. Or, for an invalid in need of bolstering, it’s a delicate-yet-filling bowl of protein. The egg curds, or drops, offer a subtle bit of “chew,” like tiny gluten-free dumplings. For best results, the broth should be homemade, the eggs pasture-raised and fresh from an organic farmer, and the cheese genuine Parmigiano reggiano or another of the noble hard grating cheeses of Italy.
Makes 2 to 3 servings
4 cups chicken broth
1 packed cup thinly shredded spring greens, such as dandelion, spinach, nettles, watercress, fava bean leaves, baby turnip greens (optional)
2 large eggs
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano reggiano or other Italian hard grating cheese, such as aged Asiago or Romano
2 tablespoons finely chopped flat leaf parsley
Freshly grated nutmeg
Kosher or fine sea salt, to taste
1. Heat the broth in a heavy saucepan over medium-high heat until beginning to boil. Lower the heat to maintain a simmer. If using greens, add them now and cook until wilted, abut 2 minutes.
2. In a small bowl, whisk the eggs until blended. Add the cheese and parsley and whisk to mix. Slowly pour the egg mixture into the hot broth. Let rest without stirring for a few seconds while egg curds form, then gently swirl the curds into the broth. Season with a few grates of nutmeg and salt to taste and serve.