This traditional Mediterranean recipe makes use of several of the nourishing tender greens of early spring, like spinach and asparagus, to make a flavorful soup found on many a Tuscan table this time of year.
Italian Spring Soup is perfect for a light but satisfying supper or as the first course of a special spring meal. If eating more soups is one of the secrets to staying thin as the Europeans do, then this recipe could be a real keeper! And the final touch may surprise you, since it involves a simple technique that most of us associate with an Asian soup favorite.
2 quarts vegetable broth
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 leeks, white parts only, washed well and sliced thinly into rings
1 pound asparagus tips
1/2 head escarole, thinly sliced
1/4 pound baby spinach, stems removed
2 tablespoons Italian (flat leaf) parsley, coarsely chopped
4 tablespoons matzo meal
salt and freshly-ground black pepper, to taste
1. In a large, heavy soup pot, saute the leeks in the olive oil until softened, then add escarole and spinach. Cook, stirring, until coated with oil and wilted.
2. Add broth, bring to a simmer, and cook until greens are tender, just a few minutes. Add asparagus and half of the parsley and continue to simmer, no more than about 5 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together the eggs, matzo meal, and remaining parsley.
4. When ready to serve, bring soup to a rolling boil and pour the egg mixture into the soup in a thin, steady stream, stirring the soup continuously. Serve immediately.