Food & Drink

Brodo And Italian Soup

In The Italian Kitchen, acclaimed chef and cookbook author Marco Canora teaches viewers to cook classic Italian dishes. Brodo, a flavorful meat broth, is the base for both soups Marco prepares. Marco makes it by adding turkey legs, a whole chicken and some beef shins to a large pot and covering the meat with cold water. (The water should be at least 4 inches above the top of the meat to make scooping out impurities with a ladle easier.) After a few hours, he adds carrots, onions, celery, peppercorns, garlic and parsley, then cooks it for additional time. When the broth is dark in color and full of flavor, he fishes out the large pieces of meat, then strains the broth through a fine-mesh sieve. The broth is delicious on its own at this point (with a little salt) but Marco uses it to create two classic Italian soups.

The first, Escarole Soup, is very simple to make. He chops up a head of escarole (remove the core first), then washes the leaves in a bowl of cold water. He then adds the cleaned escarole to the already simmering Brodo, and continues to simmer. When the escarole is tender, he ladles the soup into a bowl and garnishes with Parmesan cheese and a swirl of olive oil.

Next, Marco makes Stracciatella, or egg drop soup -- a dish his family enjoys at the start of their Easter celebration meal every year. He heats up some of the Brodo in a pan (you need it very hot for the eggs to cook, so he boils it for a few minutes). While the broth heats, he mixes up eggs, some grated Parmesan, fresh nutmeg and chopped parsley. He removes the broth from the heat, pours in the egg mixture and covers the pot for 60 seconds. (Do not stir the eggs at this point, Marco advises -- you want the eggs to form a mass on the top of the soup before you break them up. If you stir immediately after adding the eggs, the broth will get cloudy.) After 60 seconds, he lifts the lid up, breaks up the eggs with a whisk and the Italian egg drop soup is ready to serve.