Tired of green food yet? Not so fast! We’ve still got plenty of ways for you to enjoy your greens this month. Since all of the St. Patrick’s Day hoopla has died down, we’re now looking at a lesser-known holiday: St. Joseph’s Day. In Jolly Tomato land, we are lucky to have not one but three members of our family named Joseph (grandfather, father, brother) so this seemingly minor holiday is a big one in our family. Plus, it’s traditionally celebrated with a big feast, so what’s not to like about that?
Last year we celebrated by making zeppole, but this year we’re going to “green” it up a little bit with some Italian Wedding Soup (click for recipe). (Note: In many places, St. Joseph’s Day feasts are traditionally meatless because it falls during Lent, but some Sicilians celebrate it with meat.) Italian Wedding Soup is basically a flavorful broth combined with meat, greens, and some sort of pasta. We usually associate this soup with weddings or other special events (we always used to eat it at our Italian Christmas celebration), but we just learned via Whole Foods that the “wedding” in the name is actually from minestra maritata, which refers to the “marriage” of greens and meat in the soup. OK, fair enough.
The other inspiration for making this soup comes from the escarole that we just received from Cut N Clean Greens. Escarole! We grew up eating escarole in just about every soup Mom made, but we hardly ever see it in stores out here in Southern California. Having escarole on hand is like having a little taste of home.
So…the key to this soup is that you have to have the absolute highest-quality broth for this soup. If you can do it, homemade broth is best. Also, it helps to have the absolute best-quality meatballs. And the freshest greens you can possibly find. You get the message – it’s a simple soup that’ll taste best if all of the ingredients taste great.
After the soup is all cooked up, we like to top it with a little bit of grated Parmesan or Romano cheese. Serve as a main course with some warm crusty bread and a salad, or serve smaller portions as an appetizer for your big St. Joseph’s Day feast.
Buona Festa di San Giuseppe!