Tuscan Greens Soup

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Tuscan Spinach Soup

Tuscan Greens Soup

The idea of this soup came as a mash up of two classic Italian soups…

Ribolitta – the famous Tuscan soup of kale and white beans.

And Stracciatella – a simple Roman soup of eggs, parmesan and broth.

I love how the eggs cook down into little creamy bursts in among the dark mossy green soup. So good!

I’ve used frozen spinach in the photo which is brilliant because it’s so quick. No chopping required.

But if you do have the time, fresh kale really takes the soup to a new level.

And because this soup is so simple, it really needs an excellent quality stock. If you’re using commercial stock, softening an onion before you cook the soup will help add depth of flavour.

enough for: 2
takes: 15 minutes
net carbs: 16g per serve

2 cups chicken or veg stock
500g (1lb) frozen spinach or kale
4-6 eggs
100g (3.5oz) grated parmesan
100g (3.5oz) roast walnuts or almonds

1. Bring stock and greens to the boil in a medium saucepan with the lid on.

2. Meanwhile stir eggs in a small bowl with 2 tablespoons of the grated parmesan and a pinch of salt.

3. When the broth is simmering, pour in the eggs. Turn off the heat and jam on the lid.

4. Stand for 1 minute or until egg has just cooked. Taste and season with salt as needed, remembering you’re going to be adding more parmesan.

5. Divide soup between two bowls. Top with parmesan, nuts and a nice drizzle of extra virgin olive oil (channelling your inner Italian).

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WINE MATCH: A big Chianti or sangiovese

Variations & Substitutions

pantry-friendly – if you don’t have eggs you could use canned chickpeas or frozen chicken.

keto / ultra low carb – use the spinach. Use macadamias or skip the nuts and use a bigger drizzle of olive oil.

dairy-free – try this Brazil Nut Parmesan or sicilian nut pesto. Or just skip mixing the parmesan with the eggs. And use extra nuts (maybe both almonds and walnuts for added variety). Be generous with the seasoning – adding a splash of soy sauce or a few teaspoons of miso paste will help add the umami you’ll be missing from the cheese.

more substantial (carb lovers) – short pasta, sourdough chunks, toast, white beans or roast root veg.

more substantial (low carb) – extra nuts. Extra eggs. Extra cheese. More stock. Or olive oil.

low FODMAP – use the walnuts and spinach.

different vegetables – fresh kale (my fave is cavolo nero or dinosaur kale) – just finely slice a large bunch (about 500g) and simmer covered in the stock until tender (about 15 minutes) – you may need a little more stock if it ends up too thick. Any fresh or frozen greens will work. And feel free to add your favourite soup veggies – an onion or two doesn’t go astray. Zucchini, broccoli, cauliflower, bell peppers (capsicum), eggplant, any roast veg – it’s all good. And I love it served with a pile of sauerkraut for extra crunch and freshness.

different protein – replace eggs with chickpeas, white beans (cannellini), lentils, crumbled sausages, bacon or ham.

nut-free – extra parmesan or extra eggs or toasted sunflower seeds.

extra flavour – soften an onion before adding the stock. Garlic is good. A splash of soy sauce or miso paste will help if your stock is a little bland.

carnivore – add some cooked sausages.

Waste Avoidance Strategy

chicken or veg stock – prepared stock or homemade can be frozen. Otherwise unopened commercial stock can be kept in the pantry.

frozen spinach or kale – keep it frozen.

eggs – will keep in the fridge for weeks or use for another meal.

parmesan – keeps for longer in a chunk so only grate when you’re cooking. I wrap in waxed paper or baking paper and then keep in an airtight container or a sealed ziplock bag. I prefer this over just wrapping in cling wrap because the air in the container allows the cheese to breathe and not sweat but the container / plastic bag prevents from drying out in the dry fridge air. Either way will keep for months.

roast walnuts or almonds – keep them in the pantry.

Prepare Ahead

Yes! Just cook as per the recipe but keep the nuts and extra parmesan separately. Leftovers will keep in the fridge for 2 weeks or can be frozen. To serve, bring to a simmer and serve as per the recipe.

Tuscan Spinach Soup-2

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Alana Pound April 29, 2020

Hi Jules, Can you please recommend a good quality stock available in Australia? Thanks!

Reply

jules April 29, 2020

Sorry but I make my own Alana so don’t have a lot of experience!

It’s one of those ingredients where you get what you pay for so I’d go with the best one you can afford. And look for stock that includes vegetables in the ingredients list for the extra aromatic flavours. A lot of the big brands just use bones and flavours so they miss that extra dimension.

If you ever want to try home made it’s a fun weekend project.

Jx

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Paul Weinberger April 2, 2020

I see references to roast walnuts and roast almonds. Do I buy them raw and roast them and store them for later recipes or buy them roasted? Or store them raw and roast as needed?

Reply

jules April 3, 2020

Whatever is easiest for you Paul. I buy mine raw and roast in larger batches to use as needed. The thing to remember is that once roasted nuts go rancid more quickly. 🙂

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Paul Weinberger April 3, 2020

How do you store pre-roasted nuts send how do you know they are rancid?

Reply

jules April 3, 2020

Excellent questions!

I store them in glass jars in the pantry Paul. They last for a month or 2 before going rancid.

We use a lot of nuts so I used them well before that. If you don’t use nuts often keeping them in the fridge or freezer will help them stay fresher for longer.

Rancidity is detectable by smell. They will smell different to fresh nuts.

So if it’s walnuts they won’t smell ‘walnutty’ any more, instead they will smell soapy or off. It’s hard to describe but trust me, they won’t smell nice anymore so you will know it.

The thing to keep in mind is that rancid oil won’t make you overtly sick immediately. It just increases inflammation so isn’t great from a long term health perspective.

Does that help?

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Elizabeth Cook February 21, 2020

I made this soup last week using fresh spinach and adding white beans. It was lovely. I loved the egg! I doubled the recipe so we had it for dinner and lunch the next day.

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jules February 25, 2020

Yum Elizabeth

Can imagine the white beans would have been a lovely addition 🙂

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