Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Straciatella Soup...with Benefits

This could also have been titled: Quinoa, Take Two.

After enjoying a wonderful Straciatella Soup with Spinach on Saturday night (how alliterative of me) and discovering the benefits of Quinoa, I decided to pair the two, and add a few "extras" for this evening’s dinner.

Straciatella Soup has always been a simple chicken broth where a combination of beaten eggs and Parmesan cheese have been added…..slowly….not into a boiling stock. The result is a “little rags or strings” look, hence, straciatella.

Well, if the spinach made that simple soup better, chicken and a few extras would make it great! However, don’t get me wrong. When you need a “sick soup,” or something simple to make you feel better, the original can’t be beat.

Pam’s Straciatella and Chicken Soup with Quinoa

1 small onion, diced
1 large carrot, finely chopped
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
2 chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch chunks, sprinkled with
2 tablespoons Penzey’s Singapore seasoning
2 quarts chicken stock
4 eggs whisked with 1 tablespoon semolina and 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
½ cup Quinoa (rinsed)
2 tablespoons pesto
2 cups fresh baby spinach

In a large stockpot, saute’ onion and carrot in olive oil and butter; stir over low heat for 5 minutes. Remove from pan; add chicken in 2 batches, cooking over medium high heat until nicely golden on all sides. (Add a bit more olive oil if necessary). Remove from pan; add chicken stock and Quinoa; bring to a simmer; add chicken and vegetables; stir, then cover, and reduce heat to low. Cook for about 20 minutes, or until Quinoa has softened. Uncover, and add eggs, stirring with a fork to break up. Add pesto and spinach; cook until greens wilt.

Serve with semolina bread and additional Parmesan cheese.

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