During our sabbatical  year at UCLA, we often went to a restaurant in our  street, Beverly Glen Blvd, right at its junction with Mulholland Drive.  It was a small Italian restaurant called Fabrocini’s, almost hidden in a little corner, but always packed with folks from the neighborhood. The restaurant is affordable (for L.A. standards, that is), has an extensive menu, and the moment you sit at the table the waiter greets you with a small bowl of their focaccia.  Interestingly, each time we went there, the focaccia was just a little different, as if the baker loved to improvise.  We were obviously hooked!

One evening I was not very hungry and ordered a small bowl of their stracciatella soup for my dinner.   From the first spoonful, I was equally hooked.  Their version had spinach and a little pasta added to the basic egg-drop preparation, in a light and delicious broth.  I loved it so much that before we left L.A. I wrote an email asking for the recipe, but they never even replied to it…  😦      Undeterred, I went on my own quest to make it at home, and finally found a good version on a Food and Wine magazine.

(adapted from Food and Wine magazine)

1 cup tubetti, ditalini or other small pasta
1 quart chicken stock, preferably home made (recipe follows)
1 garlic clove, cut in 4 pieces
3- 4 ounces baby spinach
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 large eggs, beaten
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

Cook the pasta in a pot of boiling salted water until al dente. Drain well.

In a saucepan, bring the chicken stock to a simmer with the garlic; simmer for 5 minutes. Remove the garlic using a slotted spoon, add the pasta and spinach and cook over medium heat until the spinach wilts. Season with salt and pepper. Gently stir in the eggs, breaking them into long strands. Simmer the soup until the eggs are just firm, about 1 minute. Stir in the Parmigiano cheese. Ladle the soup into bowls, and serve with additional cheese grated on top.

to print the recipe, click here

(adapted from Mark Bittman, and other sources)

8 – 10 chicken wings
10 cups water
1 onion, cut in half
4 whole cloves
6 black peppercorns
4 green onions, cut in half
1 piece of ginger (1/2 inch thick)
1 bay leaf

Stuck 2 cloves into each onion half, add all ingredients to a large stock pot, bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat to low, and cook, uncovered for 1 hour and 15 minutes.  Remove the layer of foam that eventually floats to the surface during the initial stage of cooking, using a slotted spoon.

Drain the stock, discard all vegetables and meat.   Let it cool slightly, refrigerate, and remove the congealed fat from the surface before using.  Freeze 1 or 2 cup aliquots.   Season with salt and  appropriate spices when using for soups, risottos, or sauces.

to print this recipe, click here

The beginning…..

Almost at the end of cooking….

The reward…  Liquid culinary gold!

I am no food snob, in the sense that I use store-bought chicken stock on a regular basis.  However, for this soup to be really special, I went the extra mile and made my own.  I’ve made many types of chicken stock in the past, using chicken bones, or a whole chicken.  But once I found this shortcut version at Bittman’s book “From Simple to Spectacular,”  I adapted it to my taste and it’s been my method of choice because it is fast and produces incredibly rich  and dense stock.    Usually I make my first batch when the weather turns cold, and save a few cups in the freezer.

This simple soup, with very few ingredients, definitely benefits from a home made stock, but in a pinch, I’d still use a good quality store-bought version.  Do what suits you best, but make this soup, it’s a winner… 😉

ONE YEAR AGO: Sabu’s Spicy Coconut Chicken

TWO YEARS AGO: Poolish Baguettes

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  1. My poorly throat would love some of that soup with special home made chicken stock and I haven’t even had a cup of tea yet. … goes off to plan today’s menu. It’s all dark outside still, feels like the middle of the night and it’s 6.30 am. I’ve never even considered making straciatella – looks really good! (PS We had the other part of the pork loin last night, reheated beautifully and naughty Brian made roast potatoes and spring greens to go with it, he asked me to tell you that he loved the chilli pork 🙂 )


    • So glad you and your hubby enjoyed the pork roast, I haven’t had a chance to reply in that other thread…

      hope you feel better soon, lots of folks are getting sick here, it’s that time of the year, I guess


  2. I’ve made a version of this soup many times, and it always hits the spot. Thanks for the reminder. Like you, I often make my own chicken stock, but like you, I often don’t have time or don’t plan ahead to take some out of the freezer. Which store-bought stock/broth do you like? The least offensive, I think, is Kitchen Basics, but I’ve never found one that really tastes home-made.


    • I use Swanson’s, but not their organic version that for some reason I don’t like that much, I prefer the “regular” . They recently launched this new product, small pouches with a concentrated stock that makes about 1 cup – it’s not bad, but as you say, no commercial product matches the taste of a homemade broth….


  3. A recipe with “one hour” in the title, which makes something I associate with an hours-long process, becomes quite attractive. The stock recipe alone is wonderful, and the soup sounds delightful. Thanks for this one, Sally!


    • Big ooops… it’s one cup. I adapted the recipe that was for 10 servings and ended up with a boo-boo in the writing…. Will correct that right away and remove the PDF file until I have a chance to re=load it

      thanks for bringing this to my attention…


  4. What a lovely recipe! I too put ginger in my stock (star anise too). Thank you so much for sharing, Sally. I’ll make this as soon as we get back home.


    • star anise will be on my next batch, I think it’s a great addition together with the ginger. I also sometimes finish it off with a little lemon juice, but normally I store it without it, and may add when I’m incorporating on a dish, if the flavor of lemon goes well with it.


  5. Signature breads baked in-house are such a treat… and that foccacia sounds particularly delightful. There’s a restaurant that my girlfriend and I go to on our annual mommy-getaway holiday in Toronto – they serve up a coarse grained bread fresh from the oven that has the most delicious sea salt and rosemary crust imaginable (with a little dish of olive oil on the side for dipping….). Well, I always insist that we walk to and from the hotel to the restaurant because, by the time we’re done, we’ve pretty much consumed our weight in bread! Thank you for those memories 🙂

    I really enjoy egg in soup – such a nice texture and satisfying too. Love discovering unpretentious restaurants like that, full of friendly service and home-style food. I’m glad you were undeterred and tracked down this wonderful version. I need to start making more homemade chicken stock!


  6. I’m so glad you blogged this, I love the idea of a quick chicken stock recipe and will try this one. This soup looks so healthy, I love that there is spinach in it. I throw spinach in almost every soup… including the one I made a few nights ago and will soon blog:)


    • Will be paying attention to your blog post! Spinach is always showing up at our table. The funny thing is that I used to hate it while growing up, but I hated soooo many things… my poor Mom, how could she stand me? That’s a mystery.


  7. Ha! It’s hardly a mystery why your mother put up with you. Look at how well you grew up. 🙂
    You may know this, but traditionally escarole is used in all sorts of Italian soups. It’s delicious cooked on its own, too. Very Italian, of course.


  8. I’ve never heard of stracciatella soup before – it sounds really good! I don’t think I could get Mr. N to eat this one, but Miss A might just be a big fan. I think I’ll put this on our list of soups to try this winter. 🙂


  9. I’ve long thought that homemade stock is what separates the men and women from the boys and girls. I suppose that makes me a bit of a snob but the results are so much better in any dish that relies heavily on a stock (such as a soup like the stracciatella).


  10. Pingback: Soup Kitchen Los Angeles - Kitchen Ideas

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