Zuppa Maritata

Mayor Ed Koch had a slight stroke while he was mayor of New York City and while lying bedridden at Gracie Mansion, he heard that he had[ a visitor. He was soon shocked to learn that Mother Teresa had come to call. He leaped up and put on a bathrobe, saying, "Mother, what are you doing here?" Mother Teresa answered, "You need your friends when you are sick." In honor of friendship, healing, Mother Teresa, and Ed Koch, here is a true comfort soup that bridges all lands and creeds.]

Total Time:
35 min
10 min
25 min

6 or 8 servings

  • 1/4 cup minced green onions, with tops
  • 1/2 cup minced mushrooms
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Dash of cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon crumbled dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 6 cups brown chicken stock, made with extra oregano and garlic
  • 1/4 pound vermicelli, broken
  • 1 recipe Chicken Balls, cooked, recipe follows, or 1 1/2 cups diced cooked chicken
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup half-and-half
  • 6 tablespoons freshly grated Romano, plus extra for garnish
  • Salt, black pepper and minced fresh oregano
  • Dash paprika
  • Minced fresh Italian parsley leaves

Saute the green onions and mushrooms in the oil until soft, sprinkle with the cayenne pepper, salt, oregano, and lemon juice while cooking. Add the stock, bring to a boil and stir in the vermicelli.

Cook for 7 minutes after the soup comes back to a boil. Reheat with Chicken Balls or diced chicken.

Beat together the eggs and half-and-half, whisk in 1/2 cup hot soup and return to the rest of the soup. Heat, but do not boil.

Add the Romano and adjust seasonings, to taste, with salt, pepper and oregano.

Sprinkle with paprika and Italian parsley and pass extra Romano at the table.

Chicken Balls:

1 1/2 cups ground white-meat chicken

2 tablespoons finely minced fresh parsley leaves

1 egg, beaten

1/2 cup fine bread crumbs

1 tablespoon freshly grated Romano

1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper

Mix together all ingredients, form into balls the size of large marbles, and refrigerate several hours. Cook in simmering salted water or broth to cover for 10 minutes.

Yield: 40 balls

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Inactive Prep Time: 3 hours

Ease of preparation: easy

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