My grandmother cooked a similar soup; she would make it with regular flour milled from the wheat that she and my grandfather grew. I recall that the soup had a toasty flavor. At the end, just before serving it, my grandmother would whisk in two or three eggs gathered from her chickens. It was delicious. When I came across this recipe, I liked it even more for the diversity of grains used. When you make this soup, do try whisking in an egg or two and giving it a boil before serving. The soup will have more complexity and resemble Chinese -egg–drop soup.
- ½ cup barley
- ½ cup stoneground cornmeal
- ½ cup -steel--cut oats
- 10 cups homemade Chicken Stock
- Kosher salt, to taste
- 8 ounces baby spinach
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- ½ cup grated Grana Padano
In a food processor, grind the barley to a fine flour, and pour it into a bowl. Repeat this process with the cornmeal and oats. Heat the stock in a soup pot until it is simmering, and season with salt.
In a large skillet over low heat, toast the grains (all together), stirring constantly, until they’re golden and smell very toasty, about 10 minutes, taking care not to burn. Scrape the toasted grains into a bowl to cool slightly.
Sprinkle the toasted grains into the simmering stock a little at a time, as you would cook polenta. Whisk until smooth. Bring to a rapid simmer, and cook until smooth and creamy, about 20 minutes.
Stir in the spinach, and cook until wilted, about 5 minutes. While stirring, drizzle the beaten eggs into the simmering soup to make thin strands or “rags,” as you would make stracciatella. Turn off the heat, stir in the grated cheese, and serve.