Egg Ribbons in Homemade Broth
Broth-based soups are among my favorite foods. They are elegant and comforting and nourishing all at the same time. This recipe is especially appealing because everything can be made well in advance and then reheated just before serving.
Do Ahead: The broth may be made in advance and kept in a tightly lidded container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 3 months. The egg ribbons may be made up to 3 days in advance and kept in a tightly lidded container in the refrigerator.
Total Timeunder 4 hours
Make Ahead RecipeYes
OccasionCasual Dinner Party, Family Get-together
Recipe Coursehot appetizer
Dietary Considerationpeanut free, soy free
Taste and Texturecheesy, light, meaty, savory
Type of Dishhot soup
- 1 (4-pound) chicken
- 3 carrots, trimmed, halved lengthwise, and cut into 2-inch pieces
- 2 ribs celery, including leafy tops, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
- 2 yellow onions, quartered, and 2 quarters each stuck with 1 whole clove
- 6 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 clove garlic, lightly crushed with the side of a knife blade
- ½ teaspoon whole black peppercorns
- 4 to 5 quarts water
- Kosher or sea salt
- 4 large eggs
- 1 cup whole milk
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
- ½ teaspoon kosher or sea salt
- Pinch of freshly ground nutmeg
- Freshly ground black pepper
- ¾ cup unbleached all purpose flour, sifted
- About 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
To Make the Broth:
Put all of the ingredients except the water and salt into a large stockpot. Add the water, pouring in enough to cover the ingredients by about 2 inches. Bring the broth to a boil over medium-high heat, skimming any foam that forms on the surface with a skimmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer gently, uncovered, skimming any foam that forms on the surface during the first hour or so of cooking, for 3 to 4 hours, adding salt to taste during the last hour of cooking. The broth is ready when it is reduced by about one-half and has developed a rich, meaty flavor.
Strain the broth through a colander lined with damp cheesecloth into a clean container. Discard the solids. (You can save the good, large chunks of chicken meat and large pieces of carrot and celery and refrigerate them. I enjoy them as a cold lunch, drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with salt.)
Let the broth cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate until well chilled. Skim off and discard the congealed layer of fat on the surface before reheating.
To Make the Egg Ribbons:
Combine the eggs, milk, parsley, salt, nutmeg, and a little pepper in a bowl and whisk together. Gradually whisk in the flour, taking care to avoid lumps. Cover the batter with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.
Place a 9-inch nonstick skillet or sauté pan (I use a well-seasoned cast-iron skillet) over medium heat and coat the bottom with a film of butter. When the butter is hot, pour in a small ladleful of batter (less than ½ cup) and quickly swirl the pan so that the batter coats the entire bottom, forming a thin pancake. Cook for 30 to 45 seconds, or until just set. Using an offset spatula or pancake turner, flip the pancake and cook on the other side for 20 to 30 seconds, or until set. Transfer the pancake to a plate. Continue making the pancakes until you have used all the batter, taking care to add butter to the pan as needed. Stack the pancakes on the plate as you remove them from the skillet.
Roll the pancakes up, one or two at a time, and cut them crosswise into thin ribbons (1/8 to ¼ inch wide). Unravel the ribbons and place them on a plate or in a shallow bowl. Continue to roll and cut the pancakes until you have cut them all. Cover the ribbons with plastic wrap and set aside.
In a saucepan, bring the broth to a boil over medium heat. Add the egg ribbons to the boiling broth and cook for just a few minutes, until the ribbons are heated through. Ladle the soup into 6 shallow rimmed bowls and sprinkle each serving with cheese. Serve immediately.
2008 Domenica Marchetti