Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Winter Wonders - Soup Is Good Food

Every Wednesday, I post a "Winter Wonder"
Yesterday, I was wondering when winter would end.

The sidewalks were full of sleet and it was starting to ice over.  This morning it is still hazardous.  But tomorrow, it will be near 50F (10 C).

What a wonderful day for soup.  I was reminded of a post from January 25, 2014 when someone asked if I had any posts with winter recipes.  Indeed, I do.

I am happy to say that my mother in law (the person my spouse made the soup for) did recover from the condition that necessitated her surgery.

Here's my post, for day 11 of the Ultimate Blog Challenge.

Sustainable Saturday- Marrying Soup

My mother in law, recovering last week from surgery, wanted comfort food - a couple of her favorite soups.  She is of Italian heritage, and so my spouse decided to make a soup that was fed to him when he was young.

Many Americans know a version of this soup as "Italian Wedding Soup".  (The "wedding", incidentally, refers to the marriage of the ingredients, not marriages of people.)  However, in my spouse's childhood, they knew this soup as Escarole Soup.

This is how my spouse and I made Escarole/Italian Wedding soup last week.

First, earlier in the day, spouse had roasted a turkey breast.  Now, he took the carcass, and made bone broth.  But, because we didn't have loads of time, he "cheated". We added some commercial chicken broth to the bone broth. (Whose broth? My mother in law's local store had Rachel Ray's broth in retorts but spouse has started to use organic free range broth in retorts sold at our local Aldi.)

Spouse strained out the bones and fat. He set aside the remaining turkey meat set aside for the other soup we were making.
Next, it was time for the meatballs.   First, spouse prepared a ground meat mixture.

Spouse made these from part organic ground turkey and part ground beef.  As my mother in law had some Italian seasoned bread crumbs, we added that, too. The meatballs will cook right in the soup.
Next came kale, one of the most nutritious greens there is.

Next, escarole.
Finally, sliced organic baby carrots (non-organic are just fine) went into the soup.  My mother in law had some spinach that was a tiny bit out of date but still good for cooking, and that went in, too.

Finally, pearl couscous. You can cook these right in the soup, too.
If you wanted, you could add some orzo (risoni)instead.  

Time to marry the flavors!

We cooked it until the greens were wilted and allowed some extra time for the flavors to blend. Then, it was eating time, with some Italian bread.

So easy, so nutritious. And, it tasted so good.  My mother in law is a good cook and she gave the soup a thumbs-up.

I hope it sped my mother in law's recovery.  Soup is the most sustaining food you can serve on a snowy winter day.
A snowy tree in my mother in law's yard
What is your "go to" food when someone is not feeling well?


  1. I love Italian wedding soup. Our go-to soup is chicken soup, with noodles and/or matzo balls

  2. Sounds like a great soup. Thank you for the name explanation. I always wondered why Italians ate soup on their wedding day. Of course, I could've asked an Italian, I live near an Italian community. Never thought about it. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Soup's on!
    Never heard of this mixture.

  4. Looks yummy !!! Amazing post and photos !!!

  5. One of our favorite dishes, especially in winter, is refrigerator soup, based on whatever leftovers are in the refrigerator. My hubby made a big pot last week, using a lot of leftovers from the holidays and adding a few cans of vegetables, chopped onions and celery. It was delicious and sustained us through a very cold weekend. Soup is the perfect dish for this time of year.

  6. Soup is one of the best things about winter, in my opinion. My kids don't eat many varieties, so when it's just my husband and I, or if I'm cooking for a group, it is my go to this time of year.

  7. Soup, in many assorted recipes, is a staple in our house this time of year. Thanks for sharing this recipe!

  8. That looks delicious. And now I know why they call it Italian Wedding Soup, I'd come to the wrong conclusion on that one.

  9. I too live preparing soups with my family .. but then it's mostly vegetables and liquid.. �� ..this looks yummy. that snow tree

  10. Hot soup is nice this time of year.

  11. That soup looks delicious - and your snow is pretty (even if it is probably getting a bit long winded and over-staying its welcome) It's 30C here in Australia - not a flake of snow in sight!

  12. I love Italian Wedding Soup!! My MIL just made some a few days ago...YUM. There is just something about soup on a cold winter day that feels so right...alas, I am back in TX where the freezing temps have turned to 75 pollen-filled degrees. Keeping my fingers crossed we'll get some more seasonally appropriate weather soon!! :-)

  13. Thanks for the recipe. I've got to give this a try!

  14. Mmm, I love a good soup, especially this time of the year!

  15. LOVE soups, especially in the winter! I made an old favorite, hamburg soup (browned ground beef, then added beef broth, diced tomatoes, onions, carrots, taters, and tomato bisque soup) in the slow cooker. Smells great as it's cooking and SO good!

    Love the snowy tree, too!


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