Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Italian Wedding Soup...

This was one of my favorite soups growing up and now it has become somewhat of a staple in our house when the weather starts to cool off.  It's completely comforting & much simpler than it sounds.   The making of the meatballs may seem intimidating, but don't let it scare you off-- it will be well worth it when you sit down with this satisfying soup.  


Ingredients:
FOR THE SOUP:
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped fine
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 - 2 cups carrots (I like more in mine, but if carrots aren't your thing, go with 1 cup ... I have used all types in the soup- last time I used the "carrot chips" and diced them but I have used everything from julienne to whole carrots cut up)
  • 2 stalks celery, diced 
  • 2 boxes of chicken stock
  • 1 small rotisserie chicken, chopped OR 3 chicken breasts, boiled and shredded (I use the rotisserie chicken often because it's EASIER!)
  • 1/2 package frozen chopped spinach (You can use the whole thing if you're a spinach person)
  • 1 cup small pasta
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste


 






FOR THE MEATBALLS
  • 1/2 pound ground turkey (or your favorite ground meat- ground chicken or pork OR a combination of meats would work well)
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan or Pecorino  Romano cheese
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 cloves minced garlic OR garlic powder, whatever you have on hand
  • 1/2 - 2/3 cups of breadcrumbs 
  • 3 tablespoons parsley
  • salt and pepper, to taste

DIRECTIONS:

For the Meatballs, place all of the ingredients in a bowl and mix (I like to use my hands).  Add breadcrumbs if you find the mixture to be too wet.  Roll into small balls: about 1/2 inch wide.

For the soup:
  • 1. Place the olive oil in a large pot and add onions, garlic, carrots, and celery.  Cook until the vegetables are softened (about 5-7 minutes)
  • 2.  While vegetables are cooking, prepare the pasta.  I like to cook the pasta in a separate small pan because I have found that if I cook it in the pasta it soaks up too much of the broth.  Cook and drain the pasta to have it ready for step 6.
  • 3.  When the vegetables are softened, add the chicken stock and bring to a boil.
  • 4.  Roll and add the meatballs.
  • 5.  Add the chicken.
  • 6.  Add the pasta.
  • 7.  Add salt and pepper, to taste
  • 8.  Let soup simmer for 1/2 hour to make sure the meatballs cook.  You can pull one out and cut it in half just to be sure.
  • 9.  Last, add the chopped spinach.




*You can garnish with some Parmesan cheese if you are a cheese-lover like me.
Enjoy! :)

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