Monday Night Martha: Big House Fantasy Soup

Before starting this week's Monday Night Martha we were standing around asking each other the eternal question, "So, what do you want to eat?" and bouncing a few ideas back and forth.

Then the discussion turned into a fantasy of what we thought Martha might have eaten the night before heading to the big house?

Which led to soup. There is something soothing about a bowl of soup. We decide it would also probably be on the healthy side so we settled on Turkey Meatball Soup with Escarole and Pappardelle.

Now that we are writing this blog, people keep offering us their vintage Martha materials and this one comes from her book: Martha Stewart's Healthy Quick Cook: Four Seasons of Great Menus to Make Everyday (1997), but the recipe can also be found online at the Martha affiliated WholeLiving website.

As for Martha's pre-incarceration dinner -- we really think it could have been this soup, a hunk of crusty bread, some fine cheese, a glass of wine.

First of all this recipe is uncomplicated, important when you have other things on your mind. You start by preparing the meatballs. You take ground turkey, egg white, coarsely chopped parsley, chopped onion, minced garlic and mix together.

We know Martha is trying to keep it healthy, but we supplemented our meatball mixture a bit by adding a tablespoon of bread crumbs and another tablespoon of grated Romano, and a dash of red pepper flake because that's just the way we like things.

Next you shape the mixture into walnut sized meatballs, and cook in a skillet for five minutes until golden brown and set aside on a paper towel.

Then, you sauté shallots and garlic until translucent, add chicken stock, thyme, meatballs and pappardelle pasta and return to simmer. Finally stir in 3/4 of a pound of escarole and salt and pepper to taste.

And secondly, the soup tastes good. The bright green escarole with just a slight crunch and the al dente pappardelle noodles satisfy in texture and taste. We would definitely make it again.

By the way, if you've never read Martha's 2004 letter to her sentencing judge it's worth a look. We found it educational, sort of like a how-to primer we could tuck away in case the need ever arises, not unlike the way we might keep a pinecone craft idea in a manilla folder. We're not sure we'd have gone into such detail about all the fabulous vacations we'd taken though. But we do love that she quotes the American Poultry Association's handbook, The Standard of Perfection. How seemingly random, yet not. How exacting. How Martha.

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