I knew today's video recipe was called Italian Wedding Soup because it's traditionally served at weddings, but I wanted to find out why this soup, with these ingredients in particular, was chosen.
I had a few theories. I figured the greens probably represented money, and symbolized hopes that the bride and groom would enjoy a prosperous union. The soup's signature mini-meatballs were a tougher nut to crack.
How could taking large, virile, normal-size meatballs and shrinking them down to dainty little shriveled dumplings serve as a metaphor for marriage? I just don't see a connection. Well, come to find out (according to two reliable sources; Wikipedia, and my friend and fellow About.com Guide, Kyle) the name has nothing to do with people getting married.
Apparently, what we Italian-Americans from the northeast call Italian Wedding Soup is actually a misinterpretation of an Italian soup called, "minestra maritata," which basically means "married soup." The "married" refers to the delicious pairing of the greens and meat, and not the ritual of marriage.
So, the soup ended up being a sort of self-fulfilling prophecy. What better choice for a first course at your Italian-American wedding reception than something called Italian Wedding Soup?
That should give you enough soup-related cocktail party conversation material for a while. Whether you fondly remember this from weddings past, or you've never had it or heard about it before, I really hope you give it a try. Enjoy!
1 quart beef broth
1 quart chicken broth
Note: A little more or little less broth will not affect the recipe
1/3 cup pastina or other tiny pasta
1 bunch kale
salt and pepper to taste
For the meatballs:
1 1/4 pound beef
2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup cream
1 cup fresh breadcrumbs
2 tbsp fresh parsley
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp fresh black pepper