Italian Soup (Minestra)
see note in directions. 
* exported from mastercook * 
recipe by : 
serving size : 6 preparation time :0:00 
categories : main dish soup 
amount measure ingredient -- preparation method 
-------- ------------ -------------------------------- 
  the greens----
1 lb.  broccoli rabe
3/4 lb.  broccoli florets
2 lb.  chicory or escarole
1 lb.  green cabbage
1 lb.  torzelle (another kind of broccoli) -- or
1 lb.  collard greens
  aromatic herbs such as basil or thyme -- to taste
  the meats----
  prosciutto bone with some meat attached
  if you like)
1/2 lb.  prosciutto rind -- * see note
1/2 lb.  italian salami -- * see note
3/4 lb.  pork loin
3   fresh mild italian sausages
1/3 lb.  cured lard
1/4 lb.  caciocavallo, well-seasoned
1/4 lb.  parmigiano, grated
1/4 lb.  pecorino romano (if need be)
1   rib celery -- for garnish
  peeled carrot -- for garnish
1 sprig  parsley -- for garnish
1/2   red bell pepper -- or to taste
wash the meat and put it in a pot with the herbs. cover the meat to a 
of about 2 inches with water and set the pot on the stove; simmer for 
2 & 1/2 hours. remove the meat with a slotted spoon and pick it apart (if 
the meat on the prosciutto bone is still tough, boil it some more). 
the pulled meat to another pot, and add to it a ladle or two of broth; 
seasoning, adding more salt if necessary, cover the pot and set it aside. 
let the broth in the stock pot cool and skim the fat that rises to the 
surface. then return the pot to the fire. in the meantime, wash the greens 
well, coarsely shred them, and blanch them in a little bit of lightly 
water (dump them into the pot, cover it, wait for the water to return to a 
boil, and drain the vegetables into a colander). squeeze out as much water 
you can (it will be quite bitter because of the broccoli rabe). crumble 
caciocavallo. stir it into the stock, together with the drained vegetables 
and the hot pepper. simmer for about 1/2 hour, and check seasoning, adding 
salt if necessary. reheat the pulled meat; you can either stir it into the 
soup in the kitchen, or serve it in a second bowl, allowing your diners to 
add as much as they want to their soup bowls. serve the grated parmigiano 
the side. the wine? i'd go with a white, either fiano or a greco di tufo. 
the fine art of cooking involves personal choice. many preferences, 
ingredients, and procedures may not be consistent with what you know to be 
true. as with any recipe, you may find your personal intervention will be 
necessary. bon appetit ! w. h. stoneman 
about once a week i get an email requesting italian wedding soup. tuscans 
don't serve a specific soup at weddings, so i was stumped. until i found a 
discussion of minestra maritata in jeanne carla francesconi's la cucina 
napoletana and realized the dish has nothing to do with the happy day -- 
wedding soup is a mistranslation. to say two things go well together in 
italian, one can say si sposono bene (they're married) -- or, more to the 
south, that they're maritati, i. e. married. the combination of greens and 
meat in a clear broth certainly does work well and deserves to be called 
maritati -- no wedding involved. according to ms. francesconi, the dish is 
extremely old, falling into a group of meat-and-vegetable soups that are 
common throughout europe, and may have a roman origin. in any case, it was 
the standard neapolitan fare before the introduction of pasta, so much so 
that people from other regions used to call neapolitans "leaf-eaters" 
(mangiafoglie). alas, minestra maritata's popularity is now waning among 
neaopolitans: since it was designed to be a fulfilling single-course meal 
(and would likely have been the only meal of the day for many people a 
century ago) it is rib-sticking. too rib-sticking for modern diners, who 
generally follow their soup with a second course, and are also much more 
conscious of fats than their ancestors were. as is the case with all 
traditional recipes, there is an infinite number of variations to minestra 
maritata. the important thing is that it contain meat and greens; within 
these restrictions feel free to vary the recipe to suit you tastes and 
available in you local market. a note on meats: ms francesconi says that 
those used traditionally are now difficult to find even in naples, so i am 
transcribing those of her modern version. 
cuisine: "italian" 
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 
per serving (excluding unknown items): 95 calories; 3g fat (22.2 % 
from fat); 11g protein; 9g carbohydrate; 5g dietary fiber; 18 mg 
57 mg sodium. exchanges: 1 lean meat; 2 vegetable. 
notes : note: if you cannot find prociutto rind, use a quarter pound of 
fresh side pork (the cut used to make bacon). do not substitute pork rinds 
bacon, which have spices that will throw off the seasoning. 
note: use any kind of italian salami, including cotechino. 
note: make a bouquet garni consisting of a rib of celery, a peeled carrot 
and several sprigs of parsley, tied with a string. 
(ID: 6313) Mirror: Tue, Sep 7, 2004

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