Stracciatella in brodo (Italian egg drop soup)

With the colder weather come all sorts of colds, aches and pains and other nasty bugs that seem to be lurking in every workplace and train carriage. My mamma, who had not been sick for years even caught a nasty cold from someone at her weekly exercise class and has been coughing and sneezing ever since. I wish I could spend a bit more time with her and make her some chicken soup (brodo) like she used to make for me when I was little.

stracciatella in brodo-italy on my mind

When I was living in the family home, sick and without much appetite, mamma would always give me some of her amazing brodo to warm and heal me. To this she would either add pastina (fine or small pasta shapes that cook in a couple of minutes, like “angel’s hair” pasta) or stracciatella, which is a type of egg drop soup traditionally from around Rome. Stracciatella was always my favourite. It doesn’t look that appetising but do not be fooled! In addition to its magical healing properties (or that is what mamma had me believe), it is *just delicious*. You take good quality chicken and/or beef stock (I make mine with a whole skinned organic chicken, a carrot, a stick of celery and half an onion, slow cooked for at least 3 hours), throw some eggs beaten with Parmesan cheese into the boiling soup and let it cook for a few minutes. It is as simple as that. I swear that it made me get better faster, or maybe because it tasted so good, I felt better after eating it. The soft cheese eggy lumps that form and cook with the broth are wholesome and tasty. You can also add a pinch of nutmeg to the eggs, lemon zest or marjoram. I love stracciatella with a bit of parsley and a squeeze of lemon juice. It is seriously delicious. I know you will feel better after you taste it!

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Stracciatella in brodo (Italian egg drop soup)

  • Time: a few minutes
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Chicken soup, home made (250 ml or 1 cup per person)
Parmesan cheese (75g or 1/4 cup loosely packed per person, grated)
Eggs (one per person)
Parsley leaves, chopped (1 teaspoon per person)
Lemon juice (1/2 teaspoon per person) or a bit of lemon zest if you prefer
salt and pepper to taste

Heat the required amount of soup in a saucepan. Whilst this is heating, break the egg/eggs into a bowl and whisk with a fork, then whisk in the Parmesan cheese, the salt and pepper, the lemon and the parsley. When the soup is boiling, remove from the heat, add the egg mixture and give it a bit of a whisk. Put back on the heat at medium-high and allow to boil for a couple of minutes, stirring a few times, until the egg forms clumps and is cooked. Serve immediately in a warmed soup bowl.

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Here is a photo of mamma, me and next door neighbour Anthony, in our backyard, probably when she started to feed me brodo with stracciatella.

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9 comments on “Stracciatella in brodo (Italian egg drop soup)

  1. Yes, il brodo is a true winner at any time, but particularly when one is not well! We too had Stracciatelle and the aroma of brodo cooking was enticing.
    I tried the Torta di Pera recipe and it was a hit! Easy to make and delicious to eat!
    Thank you for sharing your many memories and recipes.

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    • Hi Elena, it makes me so happy to hear that you share a similar memory of brodo – and that you made the pear cake! The reward for me in writing this blog is knowing that people like you are making the recipes and reading the stories. Grazie xx

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  2. I’ve been living off my home made ‘brodo’ this last week because of the dreaded nasty colds around. I add ‘pastina’ to my chicken soup but when I have a head cold this bad, I also just drink the soup (without the pastina) in a cup in between meals. It seems to have helped. As part of the family meal after having the brodo, I remove the chicken and meat from the broth, I finely chop the meats all up together with a spanish onion, add olive oil, balsamic vinegar and, sprinkle salt and pepper, then toss like a salad. This is what my mum did with the meats of the broth. My kids love it! Thanks for sharing your ‘Stracciatella in brodo’ story.

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    • Sorry to hear you have not been well Linda but as you write, brodo will cure all! My father liked beef from brodo the way you describe it above – I had forgotten he ate that! We have the left over chicken from brodo for dinner tonight – I will make that into a pie. It is so delicious having those left over meats from brodo. Mmm

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  3. I make egg and lemon soup where the raw eggs are added to the broth at a temperature cool enough not to cook them and then heated slowly to just thicken. This is so interesting as the same combination of tastes just made differently.

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    • that is interesting – I have seen a recipe like yours – think I will try it, the consistency might be slightly different if done that way. I adore the flavour combination though, no matter how it is made

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