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Chicken & Stars
A look into May
I wrote this newsletter in the first week of May and haven’t had the time to publish it. I could go back and rewrite it to reflect the current state of my life but I’ve always enjoyed the reflection of reading things I’ve written in the past. I know fifteen days doesn’t sound like that long ago but these days, it is. Truthfully, I haven’t had a moment to breathe or consider what my life is like or will be like since leaving the funeral home and I think it’s going to be a while before the reality of the change sets in. For now, the only constant is soup.
This is my last week as a full-time Funeral Director. While I am over the moon regarding my decision and gleefully anticipating “what’s next,” I am also on the verge of a panic attack at any given moment. The somewhat uncomfortable uncertainty of my life paired with the inconsistent spring weather over the last two weeks has left me feeling vacant. I desire comfort, like laying on the couch under a pile of warm laundry. I was reaching out as hard as I could for a reprieve and just when I needed it, the universe handed me this soup.
This soup is an amalgamation of two different all-star soups – Pastina and Stracciatella. Both soups are incredibly comforting and low maintenance. Pastina soup is an Italian staple that has two ingredients; rich chicken broth and pasta. This soup is often served by your mom or grandma when you’re a sick little baby. It’s perfect in every way, but most notably in its healing properties. Stracciatella, meaning “little shred” is the name for multiple Italian foods (soup, ice cream, and salad). The soup iteration is a Roman egg drop soup which usually consists of chicken broth, beaten eggs mixed with parmesan, and spinach. I’m using escarole because I got a real problem with spinach. It doesn’t hold up well in soup and turns out like mucus which is gross. The most important part of these soups, and the soup I’ve created is the chicken broth. Follow my chicken broth recipe up to 5 days before you intend to make the soup.
Chicken & Stars
Yields 4-5 quarts
4 quarts chicken broth
1 lb. tiny pasta – stars, pastina, acini di pepe (not orzo)
5 beaten eggs
1 cup grated cheese (parm, romano, pecorino)
1 bunch escarole, chopped
Fresh cracked pepper
In a small bowl, whisk together the beaten eggs and grated cheese. The mixture should be thick but pourable. In a Dutch oven, bring chicken broth to a boil and add pasta. Boil pasta for 2 minutes then while gently stirring the soup, slowly stream in the egg and cheese mixture. Add escarole. Allow soup to simmer until the escarole is completely wilted and the pasta is cooked through. Salt to taste. Finish with fresh cracked pepper and serve.
As I sit on the floor in my living room with Vanderpump Rules and this soup, an audible “mmm…” escapes my lips after every single bite. This is the exact feeling that I hope it will bring you.
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