After leaving Seattle and the International Food Blogger Conference, I’m having a short visit with my mom and my “Auntie Marj” in leafy Leland, Mich. I’m heading for a long weekend in a cabin setting with friends, but I had time for a quick cooking lesson from Auntie Marj. She makes her own broth which also ensures that the chicken for this soup will be tender. Learning how to make your own broth is a good habit to develop, I’m told. I’m still working on it.
Once you’ve made your broth, this soup is fast, tasty, and will prepare you for the chill that is starting to creep into these last days of summer. Both mom and Auntie Marj served me plenty of motherly wisdom as we ate, because I was salting my soup with a few tears as I unpacked some life frustrations. Moms and aunts and kitchen tables are good for this kind of thing, but I recommend using regular sea salt or table salt for your soup.
Chicken Egg Drop Spinach Soup
3 lb. whole chicken (fryer)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan, (use Reggiano if you like, for extra flavor)
6 to 8 ounces fresh baby spinach
Salt and pepper, to taste
To make your own broth
Take the chicken out of the refrigerator 1/2 hour before cooking. Using a heavy stockpot with close fitting lid (or large dutch oven) fill it with enough water that to cover chicken well (do not add the chicken). Add salt. Bring salted water to a hard boil. Using a spider spoon, lower the whole chicken into the boiling water until the boiling stops, about 1 minute. Be careful to not let the water come to a hard boil while the chicken is in it. As the water begins to boil again, remove the chicken and rest on a plate. Bring water back to a hard boil, put the chicken back into the pot, cover, turn off heat. Keep the chicken in the pot covered for 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Remove chicken, don’t be alarmed if it looks terrible, because the skin will not be browned. Settle back on to the plate. Boil remaining broth uncovered until it is reduced by half. Add whatever seasoning you like, such as onion or carrots. If you are using vegetables as seasoning, be sure to remove the vegetables once the broth has been reduced.
Set aside at least a breast and a half, remove skin, and dice.
Add the juice and zest of 1 lemon to stock. Beat 3 eggs in a bowl. Add grated cheese to eggs. With stock boiling, and stirring in a circular motion, pour the egg and cheese mixture into the stock in a thin stream. Add diced chicken and baby spinach. Add salt and ground pepper to taste, and serve.
Serves 4 to 5.
Note: For quick version, use purchased roasted chicken 4 cups prepared chicken stock.