Italian Wedding Soup

Italian Wedding Soup 

Avid readers of Minnie's Soup Kitchen will recall that on the 4th September I considered making Italian wedding soup because the older offspring had expressed an interest in a meaty soup.  He's just back from a week away in Scotland and no doubt has missed his parents' home cooking, so he deserves some spoiling. Yesterday I baked him a rich chocolate almond cake with orange and lemon, using a recipe from a favourite book, Chocolate by Gill MacLennan. For chocolate lovers everywhere I will list the ingredients: white chocolate, milk chocolate, dark chocolate, grated orange and lemon peel, eggs, butter, caster sugar, ground almonds, white breadcrumbs and cocoa powder. Now wipe all the drool away from around your mouths and pay attention to the soup.
Cake batter in progress
Chocolate by Gill MacLennan
Ingredients for chocolate almond cake

A slice of chocolate cake


Italian wedding soup - the raw ingredients
As I write, the meat ingredients are simmering away in a pan on the hob - stewing beef, belly pork, salami, chicken, onion, beef stock (commercial), a sprig of rosemary and a bay leaf. Mmmm! In about an hour's time I'll be taking out the chicken, discarding the skin, chopping the meat and returning it to the pan. Then I'll be adding shredded Savoy cabbage (the long-suffering spouse was unable to locate the spring greens or cavolo nero listed in the recipe), pasta shapes and chicory. The spouse used to object vociferously to pasta that didn't come in long strips but he is prepared to overcome his prejudice in the interests of adhering to the recipe. I did wonder about the the lavish and romantic title of the soup. Apparently, it's a mistranslation of minestra maritata ("married soup"), which according to Carolyn Humphries (who wrote the introduction to the recipe given in The Soup Book) "simply means the flavours marry well together." She also notes that recipes for this soup vary, as I discovered when checking on the internet.


Is there an olfactory equivalent to the term euphony? It's what's taking place in my kitchen at present, what with the delicious smells from the soup mingling and mixing with those of the Christmas cake I've just taken out of the oven. Only three months to go, after all. The recipe I use is one for a light fruit cake I cut out of the magazine Woman and Home in the late 1980s.

The completed soup
 P.S. Dinnertime

The soup was cooked. I added the pasta, cabbage and chicory, warmed up the bread and dished up. The younger offspring didn't express horror or disgust, which I interpret as enjoyment. The spouse used the term "epic." Then this exchange took place between him and the older offspring.
Older offspring: "Do you know who'd like this soup?"
Spouse: "No. Who?"
Older offspring: "Men."

Bee fun

During the week I met the spouse's co-worker, "Ruby" (not her real name), who asked me how I got on at the beekeeping course last weekend. We also talked about the older offspring and the spouse finishing the bee box. The purpose of the bee box is to provide an egg depot for solitary bees. Our parish church holds an annual pet service. It's too late for this year's, but Ruby and I did talk about the possibility of my bringing along a few bees in a jam jar next year!

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