Stracciatella alla romana is the egg drop soup of Italian cooking. It typically starts with a rich chicken broth, into which a beaten mixture of whole eggs and grated Parmigiano-Reggiano is streamed in to form tiny, light, and flavorful clouds. The texture and flavor of that soup is wonderful. So wonderful that it inspired me to create my own hearty version.
So this is sort of a cross between Italian Wedding Soup and Stracciatella Soup. Once again, we’ll be using that all-time favorite …the rotisserie chicken. No surprise, right? One of the things that you probably already know about me is that I love the shortcut of using rotisserie chicken whenever possible.
As you can see, there’s some prep on this one. But, really …it is so worth it. If you cut your vegetables in smallish pieces, this will come together quickly. It’s a good idea to have everything chopped beforehand. Unless you prefer to work under pressure! Then, by all means, chop as you go.
After a quick sauté of the veggies, the chicken broth is added to the pot along with the chopped dill.
While that is coming to a boil, chop up your escarole …if it’s not already done, that is.
Remove the bay leaves. Then add the chopped escarole to the pot and bring the mixture back to a boil. After it simmers for about 5 minutes, you’ll add the pasta. You can use any small shaped pasta here but it works best with the acini de pepe …the size and texture are just right. A suitable substitute would be orzo or tubettini.
Once the pasta is cooked to your liking, the shredded chicken is added to the pot to heat through.
While the chicken is heating up, you’ll prepare the final step …getting that delicious egg drizzle ready. Just add fresh grated parmesan to your beaten eggs and mix them well.
A note on the cheese. You can use parmesan or romano here. We prefer the parmesan since it contains a slightly less amount of sodium than the romano.
Temper the eggs by drizzling a small amount of the hot broth into the eggs while beating them.
Make sure that the broth is at a steady simmer before you add the eggs; if the broth isn’t hot enough, the eggs may incorporate into the broth instead of forming rags. You definitely want those “rags.” They’re like little pillows of deliciousness.
With a spoon, rapidly mix the soup broth to create a “whirlpool” and slowly pour the egg mixture into the soup …stirring the entire time. The eggs should immediately form into “rags”.
Your chicken escarole soup is ready to go. It really is delicious just as it is but you may like to top off each serving with a light sprinkling of freshly grated parmesan, lemon zest and/or freshly ground nutmeg.
And a garnish of fresh greens is always welcome. What you see here is a combination of parsley, dill & micro greens.
chicken escarole soup with egg & pasta
Hearty version of Stracciatella Soup (Italian Egg-Drop Soup)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 2 1/2 cups carrots, cut into 1/4" slices (about 12 ounces)
- 2 cups celery, cut into 1/4" slices (about 7 ounces)
- 1 cup onion, diced (about 5 ounces)
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley (plus more for serving, if desired)
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 (46-ounce) cans chicken broth (plus more if needed - see recipe notes)
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh dill (plus more for serving, if desired)
- 16 ounces escarole, roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup acini de pepe (or other very small-shaped pasta)
- 2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken breast (about 10 to 12 ounces)
- 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (plus more for serving, if desired)
- lemon zest, for serving (optional)
- ground nutmeg, for serving (optional)
Heat the olive oil and butter in a large stockpot or dutch oven with at least a 5-quart capacity over medium heat. Add the carrots, celery, onion, parsley, and bay leaves along with the salt & pepper. Cover and sauté for about 15 minutes until the carrots and celery are al dente.
Remove the cover and increase the heat to medium-high. Add the chicken broth along with the chopped dill. Mix well. Bring to a boil.
Remove the bay leaves. Add the chopped escarole to the pot and bring the mixture back to a boil. Allow it to simmer for about 5 minutes before adding the pasta.
Reduce heat to medium and add the acini de pepe. Simmer until the pasta is cooked to al dente, according to package directions, for about 7 to 10 minutes.
When the pasta is just about done, add the shredded chicken breast, stir to combine and continue simmering for 1 to 2 minutes.
Meanwhile, whisk the eggs together with the grated parmesan. Temper the egg mixture with about 1/2 cup of hot broth.
While stirring the soup constantly, slowly add the egg mixture. Continue to stir and cook for 2 minutes. The cooked egg will look like feathery strands.
Serve immediately, topped off with freshly grated parmesan. If desired, add a light sprinkling of lemon zest and/or ground nutmeg; garnish with fresh herbs.
This soup tends to thicken significantly if stored in the refrigerator. Have extra chicken broth on hand, in case it is needed when reheating the soup.