Soup of Bitter Greens with Cheese Dumplings
- ACTIVE: 25 MIN
- TOTAL TIME: 1 HR
- SERVINGS: 4
Like so much of the food from Molise, this soup is satisfying and easy to prepare; the dumplings, a mixture of two cheeses, bread crumbs and herbs, make it a main course.
- 1 cup slightly packed freshly grated Parmesan cheese (4 ounces)
- 1 cup slightly packed freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese (4 ounces), plus more for serving
- 3/4 cup fine dry bread crumbs (3 ounces)
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 pound bitter greens, such as escarole or chicory, coarsely chopped
- 2 quarts chicken stock or canned low-sodium broth
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- In a large bowl, combine the Parmesan with the 1 cup of Pecorino, the bread crumbs, parsley, eggs and half of the garlic and stir until a soft dough forms. Using moistened hands, roll the mixture into 3/4-inch balls and arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with plastic wrap. Refrigerate until chilled and firm, about 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, heat the olive oil until shimmering. Add the remaining garlic and cook over moderately high heat until softened, about 30 seconds. Add the greens and cook, stirring, until wilted and just beginning to brown, 3 to 4 minutes longer. Add the stock and bring to a simmer. Drop the dumplings into the simmering stock and cook until they rise to the surface, about 5 minutes. Season the soup with salt and pepper and serve in deep bowls, passing extra Pecorino at the table.
A light white, such as a Trebbiano d'Abruzzo from Molise-Abruzzi, has refreshing hints of pear and apple that will stand up to the rich chicken broth and harmonize with the slightly bitter chicory.