This recipe is a variation of the Stracciatella Italian egg drop soup, which is popular around Rome and southeastern Italy. Stracciatella is a term used for different types of Italian food including this soup. The addition of spinach and in this case nettles is an American variation. This was adapted from a recipe handed down to me through the Italian side of my children’s family. It is warm, fragrant and nourishing - especially with nettles!
2 quarts chicken broth
2 cups chopped fresh young nettles
1 sweet onion thinly sliced
1 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (plus additional for serving)
2 large eggs, beaten
2 tablespoons lemon zest
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon dried marjoram
½ teaspoon sea salt or to taste
¼ teaspoon freshly grated black pepper or to taste
Heat broth with salt, pepper and marjoram in a saucepan over medium heat until hot. Add onion and simmer until tender, just a couple of minutes. Add chopped nettles, cheese and stir. Simmer covered for about 5 minutes. Meanwhile whisk together eggs, lemon zest, and nutmeg. Slowly add this to the soup while whisking and cook until egg is set, just a couple of minutes. Serve hot with grated Parmesan cheese.
Harvesting young Wood Nettle in late Spring
Photos by Marion Z. Skydancer, ©2014
featuring Jamie MacLeod, Thea Summer Deer & Kaleo Wheeler
Learn more: Secrets of Wood Nettle