Grape Gourmet – Cucina Dello Zio

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Soup – Italian Wedding – Chicken Soup with Escarole

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2Nite on Cucina Dello Zio - The Uncle's Kitchen - #homemade #ItalianWeddingSoup #CucinaDelloZio

Italian Wedding Soup
Minestra Maritata
Chicken Soup with Escarole
by James Belardo

Chicken Soup with Escarole and beef meatballs is commonly known as ‘Italian Wedding Soup.’ While it’s a holiday staple for many Italian-American families we’ve found it’s great all-year long especially during the flu season. During the holidays this soup is was served during the Primo course after the Antipasto, before the pasta and the Secondo course in which the meats are served.We never called this “Wedding soup” which is a misread translation of the Italian “Minestra Maritata,” which literally means “married soup.” The reference to “married soup” refers to the use of both chicken and beef which are ‘married’ together with the escarole. Minestra Maritata recipe is traditionally served by families in the south-west of Italy such as Napoli during Christmas, this makes perfect sense since my grandmother had learned some of her cooking style from her mother-in-law who was from Napoli.

4 cups chicken stock (try our homemade version)
4-5 cups water
1 1/2 lbs. of chicken (2 chicken breasts), cut up.
1 small-medium sized onion
2 carrots
3-4 stalks celery
2 or 3 cloves of garlic (crushed and chopped)
1 head escarole
fresh Italian flat leaf parsley
2-3 bay leaves
Peperoncino Fiocchi (hot pepper flakes)
Grated Pecorino Romano cheese (or Parmesan, if you prefer)
3/4 cup dry white wine – Pinot Grigio (preferred)
salt and pepper – to taste
1/2 cup rice, precooked (brown rice)
ground beef
bread – crumbled
garlic, crushed and minced or pressed through a garlic-press.
minced onion – optional
fresh Italian flat leaf parsley
Grated Pecorino Romano cheese (or Parmesan, if you prefer)
salt and pepper – to taste

1. Prepare the meatball mixture but do not form the meatballs until you’re ready to drop them into the soup.

2. Heat 3 tbsp olive oil in a large soup pot or dutch oven. Sauté the chopped onions, minced garlic and hot pepper flakes.
The start if #ItalianWeddingSoup Sauté your #sofritto (onions, garlic and some hot pepper flakes)

3. Once the onions are translucent, toss in the chicken and cook for about 5-minutes or until the chicken is cooked.
I add some cut up #Chicken to cool at the beginning of the #ItalianWeddingSoup cook

4. Once chicken is cooked, toss in carrots and celery, mix well and cook for about 5-10 minutes, mix frequently.
Once the #Chicken is done I add the #carrots and #celery to the #ItalianWeddingSoup

5. Add the white wine and wait until it comes to a boil before adding 1 cup of water.  You should also toss in 2 or 3 bay leaves.
1st stage of liquid is 1/2 cup of white #wine for the #ItalianWeddingSoup #PinotGrigio it is.

6. Add 1 cup of chicken stock,  wait until it begins to boil and then continue adding your liquid alternating between water (3-4 more cups) and chicken stock (3 cups more). Remember, add one cup at a time and allow the soup to come to a boil before adding any more liquid!.
Then come 1 cup at-a-time stock and water for the #ItalianWeddingSoup - w/finished we add the...

7. Once you are finished adding the liquid you can add the freshly squeezed lemon juice, salt and pepper (to taste) and let the soup come to a boil once more.
Adding #freshlySqeezed #Lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste for the #ItalianWeddingSoup

8. Once the soup is boiling you can toss in the uncooked meatballs, try to keep the meatballs small.
Tossing in the beef #Meatballs into the #ItalianWeddingSoup

9. You can add the pre-cooked rice and the fold in the escarole. Let cook for 10 minutes or so before serving. As a side note, you do not need to add the rice at this point, you can omit the rice in the cooking stage and add later while serving!
Adding some #BrownRice to the #ItalianWeddingSoup Almost done! Then finally, lots and lots of #Escarole to the #ItalianWeddingSoup

10. Serve topped with grated Pecorino Romano or Parmesan cheese.
#Success The #ItalianWeddingSoup #Chicken soup w/ #Escarole and #Meatballs turned out awesome!


The Grape Gourmet
• health • wellness • culture • flavor •

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Written by Zio James

January 9, 2014 at 3:09 PM

3 Responses

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  1. […] a beating. What this calls for is a little Italian warm-me-up / health-me-up soup, the venerable Italian Wedding Soup (minestra maritata).  Keep warm and stay […]

  2. Cousin James – Your website is wonderful! It is so good to see all the beautiful recipes that you are offering here . I have lived in the culinary waste land known as “the great midwest” and your website is not only refreshing to look at (and salivate over) but your frequent references to our family and grandmother bring back a lot of good memories…Thank You

    • Billy, Thanks! I’ve grown more and more passionate about food over the years because of our family. Grandma was very special and cooked with such love using simple fresh ingredients. We cannot lose these recipes, nor the passion, for it’s deeply engrained in us. Hopefully we can see each other sooner than later. If we ever ‘go west’ we’ll give you a call! – James

      a grape chef

      July 31, 2014 at 11:33 AM

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