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Spring Vegetable Soup with Parmesan and Pasta Stars

This fresh, pretty soup is everything a good bowl of soup should be: comforting, nourishing and delicious. Look for fresh pea shoots at farmers’ markets in early spring. Tender and sweet, they deliver the flavor of fresh peas without the effort of shelling. If pea shoots are unavailable, use the same quantity of baby spinach in their place.

Ingredients:

  • Salt, to taste 
  • 1/2 cup star-shaped pasta 
  • 2 eggs 
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste 
  • 4 cups chicken broth 
  • 1 cup water 
  • 1/2 cup diced carrots 
  • 2 cups chopped pea shoots  
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese 

Directions:

Bring a small saucepan of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until al dente (tender but firm to the bite), about 8 minutes or according to the package instructions. Drain and rinse under cold running water. Set aside.

In a small bowl, beat the eggs lightly to blend and season with salt and pepper.

In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the broth and water to a simmer. Add the carrots and simmer until crisp-tender, 5 to 6 minutes. Add the pea shoots and simmer until tender, 2 to 3 minutes.

Remove the pan from the heat and slowly drizzle in the beaten egg, stirring the soup gently in one direction as you pour. Gently stir in the pasta and cheese and season with salt and pepper. Ladle the soup into warmed bowls and serve immediately. Serves 4.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Eat Well, by Charity Ferreira (Oxmoor House, 2008).