This lovely soup is practically spring in a bowl. To make it heartier, scatter quartered cherry tomatoes and croutons on top. Snap peas often have a fibrous string that runs down the pod's straight side; to remove it, snap off the stem end and pull down sharply.
1/2 cup diced ham
1 carrot, peeled and cut into small dice
1 leek, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced into half-moons and rinsed well
1/3 cup sliced green onions
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
4 large eggs
5 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
About 1/4 tsp. pepper
1/2 cup tiny pasta, such as farfalline or orzo
2 1/2 cups diagonally sliced sugar snap peas
About 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
About 2 tsp. chopped fresh tarragon leaves
How to Make It
Cook ham, carrot, leek, and green onions with butter in a large pot over medium heat until vegetables soften, about 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, warm vinegar and 1 1/2 in. water over high heat until bubbles form on pan bottom, then reduce heat to medium-low. Break eggs into water, keeping them slightly apart. Cook until whites are firm but yolks are still soft, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer eggs with a slotted spoon to a plate.
Add broth and 1/4 tsp. pepper to vegetables. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Add pasta and boil gently, uncovered and stirring occasionally, until tender, 7 to 8 minutes. Stir in snap peas and return to a boil, then stir in 1/2 cup parmesan, 2 tsp. tarragon, and more pepper to taste.
Ladle into bowls and top each with a poached egg. Serve with more cheese, tarragon, and pepper if you like.
I love this recipe's concept of poached eggs served in a soupy stew. I made it vegetarian (no ham; vegetable broth). Spring means green garlic, fresh fava beans, asparagus, and spinach to me, so I added a bit of those to this recipe, which increased the proportion of veggies (a goal of mine) and enhanced my enjoyment of this great dish. Wheat berries added a lovely chewiness, but I will try it with whole wheat pasta next time. I would definitely make it again.
What a great meal! The flavors were fresh and so satisfyingly "Spring". Easy to prepare and we loved the results. Undercook the poached eggs slightly because they continue to cook when you put them in the soup broth, and a runny yolk is the desired outcome, although a harder egg was also delicious.
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