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I came up with this recipe after coming down with a cold. I needed something hot and warming, but it had to be something I could make quickly and with minimal effort. This soup fit the bill perfectly. In fact, I ate it four times the week I invented it! And unlike other foods that only appeal to me when I’m sick, I was pleasantly surprised that this one maintained its tastiness long after I’d fought off the cold.
Boiling the noodles and egg together is a shortcut that saves time and dishes (I do rinse off the egg before doing this just in case) but you could definitely cook your eggs separately. Technically, you could even boil the kale with the rest of the ingredients. I like to cook it separately, though, because it gets nice and crispy in the frying pan and you have a chance to infuse it heavily with garlic. Just the ticket if you’re feeling under the weather.
I use half a bunch of kale for each serving of this soup–it’s a lot, but remember it will cook down in the pan. You can use less if you wish or try spinach or another type of green for a different twist.
Beef stock is best in this soup, in my humble opinion. If you don’t have any on hand, I like Better Than Bouillon beef base. It does contain some ingredients that I typically try to avoid, but for taste and convenience it’s one of the best (and if I recall, Cooks Illustrated even selected it as one of its recommended broth substitutions). Or, use your favorite chicken or vegetable broth/stock/bouillon.
And my best tip on peeling the egg: Remove it from the pan with a slotted spoon and rinse under hot water right away. Crack it immediately, but let it sit and cool for a few minutes while you finish the soup. Once you’ve dished everything up, it should be fairly easy to pull off the shell. Slice in half and immediately transfer to the soup bowl.
- 2 1/2 cups beef broth (I used 2 1/2 cups water and 1 1/2 tsp Better than Bouillon beef base)
- 2 oz gemelli or rotini (I used whole wheat)
- 1 egg
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, sliced
- 1/2 lb kale leaves, torn into pieces, stems discarded
- salt and pepper
- Bring the broth to a boil in a small saucepan and stir in the pasta.
- Reduce the heat to a simmer and gently lower the egg, still in its shell, into the water, nestling it in with the pasta. Cook the egg for 7 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and rinse under cold water. Roll it across a cutting board or counter top to gently crack the shell, then rinse again, letting water get under the shell. Set aside. Continue to cook the pasta another 2-3 minutes until al dente.
- Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a small skillet or frying pan. Add the garlic and saute 1 minute until fragrant. Add the kale and a few tablespoons of water. Cover the pan immediately and cook 4-5 minutes until the kale has wilted a bit. Cook with the lid off, stirring frequently, until the kale begins to crisp up in some places. Season with salt and pepper.
- When the pasta is cooked, pour the broth and pasta into a bowl. Top with the sauteed kale. Carefully peel the egg and rinse off any remaining shell. Slice it in half and add to the bowl. Serve immediately.
*Nutrition facts calculated using Better Than Bouillon beef base