Modena's Spiced Soup of Spinach and Cheese

Ingredients

  • 8 cups high-quality canned chicken broth, preferably College Inn
  • 3 eggs (optional)
  • 2 generous pinches ground cinnamon
  • 2 generous pinches freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 generous pinches freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup (2 ounces) freshly grated Italian Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 4 ounces fresh spinach, well rinsed and cut into thin shreds
  • 1 to 2 ounces Prosciutto di Parma, or a good-tasting domestic prosciutto, cut into thin shreds
  • Salt to taste

Instructions

Working ahead: Although the soup must be cooked at the last moment, it takes no more than 10 minutes and little effort. You can prepare all the ingredients hours ahead; cover and refrigerate them.

Cooking the soup with eggs: Have soup dishes, and a tureen if desired, warming in a low oven. Bring the broth to a slow bubble in a 3-quart saucepan. In a medium bowl, beat the eggs with the spices and cheese. Stir the mixture into the bubbling broth with a fork making lacy threads. Taste the soup for seasoning. Drop in the spinach and prosciutto, and immediately pour the soup into the tureen or ladle it into soup dishes, and serve while the spinach is still bright green.

Cooking the soup without eggs: Have soup dishes, and a tureen if desired, warming in a low oven. Bring the broth to a slow bubble in a 3-quart saucepan. Add the spices to the broth, and cook for a few moments. Taste for seasoning. Then stir in the spinach, cheese, and prosciutto, and immediately serve in the soup dishes or tureen, while the spinach is still bright green.

Cook time: 
Yield: 
Serves 6 to 8 as a first course, 4 to 6 as a main dish
  • When it comes to cooking sausage, it's all about heat management

    "If you're going to grill, you can mark it first on a hotter part of the grill," says Chris Ying, editor in chief of Lucky Peach and co-author of The Wurst of Lucky Peach. "Then move it to the cooler, indirect heat to finish cooking gently and slowly, and let all of those fats and everything break down inside of the sausage."

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Host Francis Lam wins multiple 2017 James Beard Media Awards

Host Francis Lam won several awards at the 2017 James Beard Foundation Media Awards for his work as food writer and cookbook editor.