Remember that time we spoke about the fascinating history of the wedding soup? You know, how people mistook the dish for…ah, but just go check that article, which works as the perfect companion piece for this one. We’ll be showing you an awesome authentic Italian Wedding soup recipe, since it’s a staple of Italian cuisine and you are missing out big time if you’ve never tried it. Just to give you a short background: the wedding soup is a traditional dish which has its roots in the Neapolitan cuisine and as a matter of fact, it’s quite typical to eat during the winter. Perfect timing too much?
Authentic Italian Wedding Soup: A Touch of Culinary Culture
Just like most soups, the authentic Italian wedding soup has numerous variations and seasons have a lot to do with it. There are ingredients you can only find during a specific time and if you can’t, you need to improvise. But improvisation is what makes cooking so great–the way a dish can be so specific to a region, but spread out and take various forms throughout the entire world even. But this is not a competition of who makes the best wedding soup–it’s an embrace of culinary culture.
There are some specific ingredients, like chicory, endive and pork rind, and our recipe is a simplified one, using pork broth and some vegetables which will give it the taste you all know and love.
Not Just Your Average Hearty Soup
Aside from being a bona fide delicious meal, the authentic Italian wedding soup is also like a complete treasure trove of healthy goodness. After all, let us not to the marriage of true… meat and vegetables admit worthlessness (health-wise). Shall we?
Health Benefits of Pork
Pork in those meatballs are chock-full of protein, which is great for building and repairing tissues. In fact, it is an important building block for blood, bones, cartilage, skin, and muscles.
Aside from protein it is also a great source of essential minerals such as Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorous, Selenium, and Zinc. It also has good doses of B vitamins such as Niacin, Riboflavin, Thiamin, vitamin B6, and vitamin B12.
So yes, contrary to popular belief, pork is not all bad. Too much of it may not be such a good idea, but in moderation, it can bring you a ton of health benefits.
Health Benefits of Vegetables
Of course, it’s no secret that vegetables are good for you, and we have certainly stressed the health benefits of kale in our Mushroom and Kale Risotto recipe. But what about the other not-so-common veggies in this scrumptious authentic Italian wedding soup? Let’s find out, shall we?
Chard – contains beta-carotene that has antioxidant properties and is good for the eyesight. It also contains biotin that helps stimulates hair growth, calcium and vitamin K, which are both good for bone growth, and iron, which is essential for red blood formation. And more importantly, it is high in potassium, which is good for muscle strength, metabolism, and the nervous system as well as helps in the prevention of strokes, kidney disorders, and heart diseases.
Chicory – contains inulin, which is a probiotic that’s great for the digestive system and helps reduce bad cholesterol in the body. It is also packed with antioxidants that help circulation, regulate the heart, and boost the immune system. Aside from that, chicory is also known to have anti-inflammatory properties.
Endive – is super high in fiber, which is excellent for reducing high blood pressure, inflammation, and the risk of having heart diseases. It is also great for your digestion, skin health, as well as weight management. Aside from fiber, it is also packed with all sorts of vitamins and minerals such as vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B-complex groups, iron, potassium, manganese.
Easy Authentic Italian Wedding Soup Recipe
As we’ve mentioned, there are many variations to this traditional recipe. This is just one of them, and feel free to improvise it any way you want.
Authentic Italian Wedding Soup Recipe
- Chop the celery, onion and carrot coarsely. Place them in a large pot filled with water and cook over low heat for a few minutes.
- Cut the sausage, rind, ribs and trotters into pieces. The trotters should be cut in half. Add the meat to the vegetables, starting with the ribs, followed by the trotters, rind and sausages, then let everything cook for around 3 hours over low heat.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
- You can check on it at various intervals and take out the "foam" that forms on the surface of the broth during cooking.
- During the cooking of the meat, wash and clean the chard, endive, kale and chicory, then cut them coarsely, removing the hardest parts of the vegetables. Set them aside.
- When the meat is well cooked, turn off the heat, remove from the pot and filter the broth.
- Let the broth cool outside, then cover it and let it cool further in the refrigerator, for around 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, clean the cooked meat, removing the bones and cutting it into smaller pieces.
- After the 15 minutes have passed, take the broth out of the refrigerator. Remove the fat from the surface and warm it up by placing it back on the heat. Add the vegetables you've put aside earlier and cook over medium heat for about half an hour in a covered pot.
- When the vegetables are almost ready, add the meat, turn off the heat and let the soup sit for about half an hour.
- After the indicated time, you can serve the soup, still warm, perhaps accompanying it with a drizzle of extra virgin oil and a sprinkling of grated Parmesan cheese. You can save the wedding soup in the refrigerator for 2-3 days at the most.
- If you don't want to use trotters, you can simply use hambone (that's literally the bone found in the ham). For the sausage, typically, a sausage made with scraps of pork resulting from the charcuterie process.
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