Meatballs and Matrimony – The Italian Wedding Soup

It is very confusing when one talks about the Italian wedding soup. Everyone thinks that is a soup people eat at their wedding. In Italy there is a special soup to eat at the end of the wedding, but that has nothing to do with the well-known Italian Wedding Soup in the United States.

The origin of this soup is the (still Italian) soup called ‘zuppa maritata’, married soup. And this refers to the meat and the vegetable greens in the soup. Not to a wedding. The soup is typical for the region of Campania. We prepare this soup during holidays like Christmas and Easter. The soup can be served with toasted (old) bread or fried polenta.

In Italy the ‘greens’ are escarole, Belgian endive, savoy cabbage and borage, with its lightly bitter taste. The meat can be pork in form of sausage or chunks. In the United States they seem to use meat balls only. And that is what I prepared.

I didn’t use the Italian greens and honestly I don’t recall that I ever had pasta in this soup. I prepared the meat balls Italian style with parmegiana cheese and instead of the bread crumbs I used for a paleo-friendly version roughly ground almonds. The soup itself had only the Belgian endive.

The soup is very tasty, though very different to the one I know. I actually found out after doing some research that I know this soup very well. Because of trying the ‘Italian wedding soup’ in America, I thought more about a Swedish origin. Who knows why…

Enjoy the soup!

Italian Wedding Soup
Italian Wedding Soup
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
6 servings 30 minutes
Cook Time
25 minutes
Servings Prep Time
6 servings 30 minutes
Cook Time
25 minutes
Italian Wedding Soup
Italian Wedding Soup
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
6 servings 30 minutes
Cook Time
25 minutes
Servings Prep Time
6 servings 30 minutes
Cook Time
25 minutes
Ingredients
For the meat balls:
For the soup:
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. For the meat balls put all the ingredients in a bowl and mix with your hands. Form little balls out of them, around 2 cm/1 inch diameter each. It will be around 50 little meatballs. Lay them on a plate, so they don't stick to each other. set them aside.
  2. For the soup in a big pot put some olive oil, add the carrots, celery and onion with the garlic, stir and sauté. Add the chicken broth and let it cook for a few minutes. Then add the meatballs and – it you want pasta in the soup – the Dadini. Let it cook until the meatballs are ready (around 10 minutes).
  3. Serve hot and garnish with some parmigiano cheese.
Recipe Notes

If you have guests who like the soup with pasta, cook the pasta separately and add in every bowl some pasta before filling with the soup. Works perfect!

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English Indian Chicken and Curry Soup

It has an Indian name and comes from South India but is an English soup. It was a very popular soup in England during British India and is still often seen as an English soup.

There is no single version and can be made in many ways but the original has no meat and is made with tamarind juice. The soup itself was mentioned first in 1784.

I made a version with chicken. I think chicken and curry go so well together. I always liked very much the chicken curry my friend in Ischia prepares.

I found an interesting recipe on Marion’s Kochbuch, a German recipe page. On the photo the soup looks pretty red, mine was definitely yellow because of the curry. I used chicken drumsticks instead of whole half chicken. Of course pasture-raised chicken. And instead of the regular flour I used cassava flour. Paleo all-purpose flour is as well the same, I just finished it.

A very tasty and interesting soup, different to a simple chicken soup and for sure more often in our soup bowls.

Enjoy it!

Mulligatawny Soup
Mulligatawny Soup
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
6 servings 30 minutes
Cook Time
2 hours
Servings Prep Time
6 servings 30 minutes
Cook Time
2 hours
Mulligatawny Soup
Mulligatawny Soup
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
6 servings 30 minutes
Cook Time
2 hours
Servings Prep Time
6 servings 30 minutes
Cook Time
2 hours
Ingredients
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. Clean the leek, carrot, onion and celery, cut all in chunks.
  2. Put the chicken drums in a pot and add water until they are completely covered. Add the leek, carrot, , celery and onion. Season with a pinch of pink salt. Put the lit on the pot and let it simmer for about two hours, or until the chicken is completely soft.
  3. Put the ghee in another pot, add the peeled and diced tomato, the garlic and bacon. Braise. Add the flour and sauté all.
  4. Add the chicken stock (omit all solids) while mixing all the time. The soup should get more dense. Season with the seasonings.
  5. Take the chicken meat from the bones and cut into bite-size.
  6. Serve hot and steamy!
Recipe Notes

You can decorate the soup on the plate or in the bowl with some chives or parsley, just to add some color and also taste.

As it is an Indian curry chicken soup, use enough curry for the seasoning. Don't be too shy with the nutmeg, it gives an additional flavor. 

In case the flour mixture makes clumps in the soup you can blend it with a immersion blender BEFORE you add the chicken. It helps to clear the clumps.

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Where the Torrey Pines grow – Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve

The endangered species of the Pinus torreyana, commonly known as the Torrey pine grows only in two places in southern California: on the island Santa Rosa of the Channel Islands out of Santa Barbara and in the Torrey Pines State Natural Park in San Diego.

On one of these super nice sunny winter days I have been in the natural park together with a friend. She knows very well what I like and hiking in such a beautiful environment is exactly my favorite.

The pine tree is an open-crowned tree that can grow high as 17 meters/56 feet. The needles can be long as 30 cm/12 inches (pretty long I would say!). The big, heavy cones arrive up to 15 cm/6 inches. The nuts in the pine cones are edible. The tree is named after an American botanist, John Torrey.

The tree takes in the normally very dry environment its moisture of the scarce winter rainfall and the often coastal fog. Like many pine trees they often get into interesting shapes by the wind coming continuously from the same side.

Today it is one of the rarest tree species in the world, with just a 100 surviving trees in the wild. They continue to survive as ornamental trees in gardens and landscapes. Here the trees can grow fast and even twice the height than in the wild.

The pine nuts once were an important food source for the indigenous people in the area.

It was a surprise after lunch hike that my friend wanted to go with me. I didn’t know about this beautiful place with a lot of hiking possibilities.

You can leave the car at the entrance of the reserve or also drive up where the hiking trails start. A little visitor center gives a better overview about the different trails and a map you can use.

We hiked a couple of trails staying in the reserve for about two and a half hours. If you don’t go down to the beaches, the hikes are very easy, more of less flat. The trails are comfortable and there is no problem to pass when you have people coming from the other direction.

After a good hike I recommend to drive over to ‘The The Lodge at Torrey Pines Municipal Golf Club Course’ and have a nice coffee or drink sitting on the nice terrace and enjoy a great sunset.

I definitely liked it very much and hope that I will have many other possibilities to hike here with my American sister! Thank you so much for bringing me here! I love you very much ♥ ♥ ♥








Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve, California/USA:

For further information:
Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve
10818 San Diego Mission Rd
San Diego, CA 92108


Posted in California, ON TRAVEL, San Diego, USA | Tagged | Leave a comment

Hungarian Goulash Soup for my Hungry Man

Winter time is always a good time for soups. They are warming, light but also nutritious. And my better part likes soup – especially when homemade from scratch. And that is the only way I know.

So these days – at special request – I prepared some Goulash soup. I chose the Hungarian style as it is a little more spicy.

With a good beef from grass-fed meat the soup came out tasty and with such tender beef chunks that they nearly melted in the mouth.

Do you enjoy soups in winter time? You can prepare a big pot and have more soup for the week or freeze it for another time. Soups freeze very well when prepared in portions.

Enjoy the soup!



Goulash Soup
Hungarian Goulash Soup
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
5 20 minutes
Cook Time
1.5 hour
Servings Prep Time
5 20 minutes
Cook Time
1.5 hour
Goulash Soup
Hungarian Goulash Soup
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
5 20 minutes
Cook Time
1.5 hour
Servings Prep Time
5 20 minutes
Cook Time
1.5 hour
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Clean the vegetables and dice all of them.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a big pot and sear the meat. Stir to get all the sides of the beef.
  3. Add the vegetables (omit the potatoes), stir. Let it brown a short while. Add the tomato paste, stir and add the red wine and the spices. Close the pot with the lit and let it simmer until the red wine is nearly all gone, about 45 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile clean and peel the potatoes and dice them.
  5. After the 45 minutes add the beef broth and the potatoes. Bring to a boil and then again on simmer, another 30 to 45 minutes.
  6. At the end of cooking time the meat should be very tender. Add additional spices if needed.
  7. Serve hot and with some toasted bread slices.
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Coconut Vegetable Soup from Leftovers

Yesterday I was looking into the fridge to see what I can cook. And I found a bunch of different vegetables, every kind not enough for a meal. And as I am in soup mood right now I decided to use all the fresh leftovers I had to make a soup.

There were some green beans, a carrot, a sweet potato, a cup of ham fat from a week ago, the medium seize broccolo and some vegetables in the freezer, bags with just a spoonful of frozen vegetables. I used all of this (in the recipe I don’t mention the frozen vegetables, but they are the same as the fresh, just frozen).

I cooked the soup for an hour to get the vegetables soft. With the immersion blender I just blended a couple of times the vegetables, just to get the soup a little more dense. In the end I also put a can of coconut cream in, without the coconut water (made them separate in the fridge already a few days earlier).

The soup can be done with any kind of vegetables. The ham fat is a little crucial as it gives the soup the special taste. Who has no ham fat or doesn’t like it, can use any other fat of course or omit the additional fat. The taste will be different, though. If you use delicate vegetables like asparagus for example, add these only later, after 30-40 minutes of already cooking. So they stay whole and don’t fall completely apart.

Enjoy your creamy mixed vegetable soup!



Enjoy it!

Coconut Vegetable Soup
Coconut Vegetable soup
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
4 20 minutes
Cook Time
1 hour
Servings Prep Time
4 20 minutes
Cook Time
1 hour
Coconut Vegetable Soup
Coconut Vegetable soup
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
4 20 minutes
Cook Time
1 hour
Servings Prep Time
4 20 minutes
Cook Time
1 hour
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. In a big pot put some olive oil and the ham fat, the onions and the garlic. Let it brown lightly.
  2. Clean the broccoli, green beans, sweet potato and the carrot. Cut all in middle seize pieces. Add the vegetables and the diced tomatoes to the onion-fat mixture.
  3. Stir and add the beef broth. Put to boil and add all the spices. Let the soup simmer for an hour ca. The vegetables should be all soft.
  4. Add the coconut cream and stir. With the immersion blender go through the soup just to make it a little more dense without blending all up.
  5. Serve hot with fresh bread or fried polenta slices.
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