When the farm box came in, I needed to fortify myself with a quick lunch before I broke it down. Lively spinach captured my attention; with the eggs I had gotten from the Redondo Beach certified farmers market, the quart of homemade chicken stock I had just defrosted, and some good cheese, I could whip up a 10-minute soup that is as humble and elegant as its Italian roots. Stracciatella (translated as “torn apart) soup is a classic Roman soup that is a wonderful showcase for fresh spinach.

Just a few words about breaking down the farm box though. I made it sound arduous, but I was really just famished. All it entails is washing the produce within reason (some items, like fresh herbs or strawberries, shouldn’t be washed right away, it causes them to soften prematurely), storing it appropriately, and applying some thought into the cooking process.  But farm-grown spinach, unlike your store-bought, bagged spinach, needs to be triple washed. I do this in a salad spinner, first putting it in the basket inside the bowl, covering it with water, and allowing all of the sand to fall to the bottom. Then I fish the spinach out of the water, rinse it in a fresh stream, spin it, and repeat. After this process, you shouldn’t have any silt.  

Here’s the recipe for my 10-minute, super-nutritious and easy-peasy lunch:

Spinach Stracciatella Soup

Serves 4 to 6

4 cups good-quality or homemade, low sodium chicken stock

Grating fresh nutmeg on a microplane gives this soup depth of flavor

2 cups water

1 bunch fresh spinach, triple washed and torn into bite-sized pieces

pinch of fresh grated nutmeg

2 eggs and 1 egg white, beaten

salt and pepper

grated Parmesan cheese

Heat water and broth to a boil, reduce to a simmer and add spinach and nutmeg. Cook until spinach is wilted, then slowly pour in eggs while stirring. Season with salt and pepper, top with as much cheese as you like, and eat!

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