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Growing Up in the Butcher Shop: Italian Wedding Soup 

 Ciao Amici, 

     Growing up in the butcher shop this time of year, Grandmom would always be making soup. The butcher shop always had beef, veal and chicken bones to make homemade stock; the base for all meat soups. Grandmom would roast the bones to add more flavor to the stock.  She would always have frozen yellow tomatoes in the freezer, they were one of her secrets to give the chicken stock a lovely yellow color. One soup she made was Wedding Soup, which as a kid, I would wonder why she was making wedding soup? No one is getting married today, no one’s going to do the Tarantella. After doing some research, the term "wedding soup" comes from the Italian language phrase "minestra maritata" ("married soup"), which is a reference to the flavor produced by the combination/"marriage" of greens and the meat. The minestra maritata recipe is also prepared by the families of Lazio and Campania. Some form of minestra maritata was long popular in Toledo, Spain, before pasta became an affordable commodity to most Spaniards. The modern wedding soup is quite a bit lighter than the old Spanish form, which contained more meats than just the meatballs of modern Italian-American versions. Wedding soup consists of  green vegetables  (usually endive and escarole or endive Swiss chard, , kale, and/or spinach) and meat (usually meatballs and/or sausage, the latter sometimes made of chicken and containing Italian parsley and pecorino cheese) in a clear chicken-based broth. Wedding soup sometimes contains pasta (usually cavatelli, fusilli, acini di pepe, pastina, orzo, etc.), celery ,onions ,carrots, garlic and grated pecorino cheese.


"Le preoccupazioni vanno meglio con la zuppa e poi con l'esterno."

Worries go down better with soup then with out. 

 - Jewish proverb

 

Grazie,

 Joe

J. DeFranco and Daughters Catering & Deli

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