1 lb. good bacon
1/2 C. chopped shallots
3/4 C. frozen spinach or collard greens
1/2 C. water
3 cans Campbell’s chicken broth
1/3 C. shelled chopped pistachios
3/4 C. fresh cilentro, loosely chopped
3/4 C. grated muenster cheese
several T. heavy cream, to taste
black pepper, sage, mace
2 T. dry sherry
Chop the bacon and the shallots both small and fry them together in a pan until the bacon is crisped. Set them aside. Drain off all the grease except a little, and use that and the water to cook the collards until they soften. Turn off the fire and let your pan cool while you beat four eggs, then beat the chicken broth into them. Pour this into the pan with the collards and heat, stirring constantly, until the soup thickens. This will be sudden, so keep your fire moderate and watch closely. While you’re stirring, throw in the pistachios and cilentro, and season to taste with black pepper, a good pinch of rubbed sage, and a little mace. When the soup has thickened, turn off the fire and keep stirring. Add the crisp bacon and onions, and a little later the cheese, stirring the whiles until the cheese melts. Temper it up with sherry and cream and serve it forth.
This is a consoling soup, good for staving off or ameliorating a cold. I make it in a pan like a non-stick wok, and find it answers very well.
Addendum: You can also make this with leftover baked ham and the juices from its baking. A very nice addition is queso de freir, also known as queso para freir, queso fresco, queso blanco fresco, and panela. It’s a crumbly white Hispanic cheese that doesn’t melt when you cook it. If you take a slice and fry it in a little oil, browning it on both sides, it’s like an entire slice of the little crispy bits you get around the edges of a grilled cheese sandwich. Take several of these browned cheese slices and use your scissors to cut them up into strips. At the last minute, throw them into the soup in place of the grated cheese.