Sunday, February 14, 2010

Escarole soup - -"Italian wedding soup"

There is some restaurateur out there who we can credit with calling this soup "Italian wedding soup."  I have no idea where it comes from because (a) I've been to a lot of Italian weddings and have never had this soup served to me; and (b) the soup might be something special -- because of the labor required for the meatballs -- but it's typical weekday fare for Italian households. 

We just called it escarole soup. 

4 qt chicken stock (unsalted)
1 1/2 – 2 heads escarole, chopped, and washed well
1 c seme di melone or orzo pastina, cooked in 2 cups water with 1 tsp salt (makes about 3 c cooked pastina), or 3 cups cooked white rice
2 Tbp salt
1/4 c olive oil
4 cloves garlic, sliced thin or minced (but not crushed)

Bring stock to a boil.  Add escarole and cook about 5 minutes, until tender.  Add pasta or rice, and three dozen meatballs. (See the previous blog entry for that recipe.)  Test for seasoning.  If you used unsalted stock as I did, you will need to add salt. 

Boiling homemade chicken stock.

Escarole, chopped and washed well. 

Escarole, in the soup.

In a small sauté pan, heat olive oil.  Add garlic and toast the garlic gently.  Dump the oil and garlic into the soup, and mix well.

Toasted garlic slices.

Serve hot, passing grated cheese at the table. 

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