This is my most requested soup at our former deli. The gang from Cafe Martorano begged me to make this for them weekly. This recipe is dedicated to my Brother Angel, their Matre'd, for whom I would make quart size containers for him to take home and eat.
Buon Gusto, Miei Amici !
3 smoked turkey legs
1 lb course ground pork
1 lb ground chicken
1 qt low salt chicken stock
3 yellow onions chopped
6 ribs celery diced fine
3 large carrots sliced thin
1 large head of escarole
1 tbs fresh thyme
4 bay leaves
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
4 green onions (snip with scissors)
1 cup day old French bread soaked in 1/4 cup milk
4 large free range organic eggs
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 cans white beans
1/4 cup olive oil for frying
tsp red pepper flakes
4 cloves garlic minced.
Combine the pork & chicken in a large mixing bowl. Soak the bread crumbs in milk and squeeze out the milk, add to the meat mixture. Add 2 eggs, parsley, 1/2 cup of the cheese, 1 garlic clove minced, salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste. Combine the ingredients until mixed thoroughly, do not over work the mix or you'll end up with tight balls! Cover and chill for later.
In a large stock pot add the smoked turkey legs and enough cold water to cover the legs by 2 inches and bring to a roiling boil then simmer, uncovered, for 2 hours or until the meat has fallen off the bones and the stock is reduced by half.
The Grand Finale
Take a large Dutch oven and heat the olive oil to nearly smoking and add the onion, celery, carrots, " The Holy Trinity" cook until soft and translucent but do not brown. Add the green onions, Thyme, garlic, red pepper flakes and bay leaves. Add the chicken stock and continue to simmer on low heat while you remove the turkey legs from the stock pot and set them aside to cool. Add the turkey stock to the Dutch oven and adjust your seasoning at this point.
Remove the skin from the turkey legs while the soup is simmering. Dice the leg meat into small cubes and add to the soup.
Now your in the home stretch, Remove the meatball mixture from the fridge. Bring the temperature of the soup up to a slow boil. Use a small spoon, I prefer a melon baller, to spoon out the meatball mixture and roll them in the palms of your hands and drop them into the pot of hot broth. Repeat until all the balls are in the pot stirring intermittently. As they cook they will float to the top. Add the escarole, white beans and cover. Beat the remaining eggs in a small bowl and bring the soup to a roil, uncovered, once more. With the tines of a salad fork drizzle the beaten eggs into the hot soup slowly and stir with a wisk. Add Parmesan cheese to taste and serve hot with Crunchy Chiabata Bread and salted butter. (if you use margarine you are out of the club)
Stay Hungry My Friends!