Friday, November 11, 2011

Spinach Tortellini Soup in Lemon Broth

I've yet to mention my job in a previous post, but there's a connection as to why I refer to it today.  Usually work and this blog don't collide, but here we are.  While I'd certainly like nothing more than to delve into free writing and cook food all day long (maybe someday!), I do in fact have a day job working with children.  As anyone who works with children knows, it's pretty impossible to keep yourself germ-free in a world where sleeves are used as tissues.  It's enough to make me want to (lovingly) hose them all down with disinfectant, although I'm pretty sure there are laws against that.  There are many other unsightly details I'll spare you from since this is a food blog after all, and I don't want to ruin your appetite for what I'm about to share.  It came to being last week following a lingering cough I couldn't shake.  I listened to my body, which declared it wanted the following: a thick lemony soup with tortellini and spinach.  

I envisioned it following the succession of a coughing fit on a rainy afternoon.  Since I wasn't feeling myself, I wanted a big pot of comfort I could pull off quickly and easily with serious payoff.  This one delivers.  I got my veggies, garlic, and thyme sautéing in a little oil, added in some great quality stock for slow cooked flavor, and plopped in the tortellini.  That's the beauty of a good stock.  It gives off that aura that you've been cooking all day without breaking a sweat.  From there, I temper the eggs to thicken the soup, a trick I learned while in Greece.  It changes the texture to a creamier and thicker base that elevates this soup a notch in my opinion.  Every spoonful ends with a fresh zesty lemon finish.  Since going vegetarian, I've declared it my new chicken noodle soup.  Comforting, nourishing, and just what my body ordered...along with an oversized down comforter, copious amounts of herbal tea, and TV reruns from the couch.  

~Spinach Tortellini Soup in Lemon Broth Recipe~

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, diced
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 large carrot, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
8 cups vegetable stock
9 oz. fresh good quality tortellini
6 cups fresh baby spinach
2 eggs
juice of 1 lemon
sea salt and pepper to taste

In a large pot, add olive oil and adjust the temperature to a medium-high heat.  Add in onion, celery, carrot, garlic, and thyme.  Cook down for about five minutes.  Add in vegetable stock.  Bring to a boil.  Add in fresh tortellini and cook for about two minutes, until they float to the top.  Remove from heat. 

Next, you'll want to temper the eggs.  Tempering is the process of blending ingredients of different temperatures.  We're going to do this with the hot broth and eggs.  Using a ladle, remove a scoop of the broth from the pot and place it in a small bowl.  Let the temperature of the broth come down a little.  In another small bowl, juice your lemon and add in the two eggs, whisking together.  Check the temperature of your reserved broth.  If it's too hot, you will scramble your eggs.  When it's come down to a warm temperature, add in the lemon and eggs, whisking continuously to combine. 

Once the broth, lemon and eggs are incorporated, add into the pot of soup.  You'll see it transform into a thick and cloudy broth.  Stir continuously to incorporate it together.  Add in the spinach, allowing it to barely wilt down.  Check your seasonings and add sea salt and pepper to your liking.  Serves 6.

Update: my cough is finally gone and so is the soup.


Sue/the view from great island said...

Sorry you're under the weather...being around kids will do that. This soup looks like it would cure anything, though. I love love love lemony soups.

Anonymous said...

Awesome job of listening to your body... I doubt I could coherently be that insightful if I were sick, haha.

And using eggs as a thickener?! So interesting!! I've never heard of this before. Hmm I'm going to keep this in mind... thanks for sharing this Stephanie.

Mary said...

I hope you feel better soon. Your soup will help get you on your feet again. It really looks delicious. Have a good weekend. Blessings...Mary