And now, we come to the end of the Vegetarian Giro d’Italia and our Last Supper. (Appropriate as Leonardo di Vinci was a vegetarian.)
It’s been a race of ups and down, surprises and nail biting stage wins. So, it’s time to celebrate much like one does at a wedding with some Italian Wedding Soup. Ah, but here’s where it gets tricky. The original name of this Italian soup is “minestra maritata” or “married soup”. This marriage is referring to the marriage of meat and vegetables not a wedding between two people.
Somehow, we Americans mistranslated these words and the misnomer was born. Also remember that this is the Veggin’ way, so I also eliminate the meat part of the recipe as well. So, in the end, we all make compromises just like we accepted the fact that the winner wasn’t going to be Nibali, Evans, or Sastre.
Don’t you worry, I consulted my bible of vegetarian cooking, Vegetarian Times, for the best recipe and found this easy squeazy one that took no time to make. In fact, I had traveled all week, made the weary trip home from the airport, and had a bowl of hearty soup within 40 minutes of getting home without hardly breaking a sweat.
So, thank you for joining me on this tour of Italy. Be sure to stop by throughout the year as I tackle vegetarian recipes and reviews from all over the world.
Italian Wedding Soup
Vegetarian Times, October 2008
- 4 Tbs. olive oil, divided
- 1 medium white or yellow onion, finely chopped (1 cup)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced (2 tsp.), plus 1 whole clove, peeled, divided
- ¾ cup diced carrot
- ¾ cup diced celery (Note: I omitted the celery due to personal taste)
- 1 Tbs. dried oregano
- 1 Tbs. dried basil
- 1 Tbs. dried parsley
- 6 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
- ¾ cup ditalini pasta
- 1 pkg. vegan meatballs, defrosted (18 small meatballs)
- 1 5-oz. pkg. fresh spinach (Note: I tried this with kale…I think spinach would be much better)
- 2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
Heat 2 Tbs. olive oil in large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion and minced garlic; sauté 5 minutes, or until beginning to soften. Stir in carrot and celery, and cook 5 minutes more, or until onion is soft and just beginning to brown. Add oregano, basil, and parsley, and cook 1 minute.
Stir in broth, and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat to medium, add ditalini, and cook at low boil 5 minutes, or half of cooking time stated in ditalini package directions.
Add meatballs, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat remaining 2 Tbs. oil in skillet over medium heat. Add remaining garlic clove, and crush with wooden spoon in oil while heating. Add spinach; cook 3 to 5 minutes, turning constantly so spinach becomes evenly coated and wilted, but still bright green.
After meatballs have simmered, add spinach and lemon juice to soup, and season with salt and pepper.