When it comes to making soup in our family, I have to cede the kitchen to Michelle. She makes great soups of all kinds, all year round. I had just made some chicken stock earlier in the week, using the chicken carcasses we had used to make dinner last Sunday, so we were trying to come up with a soup to make. Michelle has been having an itch for some Italian Wedding Soup, so she decided that was what she was going to make today.
Italian Wedding Soup
For the meatballs:
2 slices of white bread (use good white bread for this)
1/3 cup buttermilk
3/4 pound ground beef
1/4 pound ground pork
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
1 large egg yolk
1 garlic clove, minced
Salt and pepper
For the soup:
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 cup minced onion
3 carrots, peeled and diced
1 celery stalk, diced
5 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup white wine
1 cup of small pasta (Michelle actually used orzo this time around)
12 ounces spinach, washed and trimmed
For the meatballs, remove and discard the crusts from the bread, then tear the bread into small pieces. Mash the bread pieces and buttermilk to a smooth paste in a large bowl, using a fork.
Add the beef, pork, Parmesan, parsley, yolk, garlic, 3/4 teaspoon of salt, and 1/8 teaspoon of pepper to the mashed bread. Stir the mixture gently until combined and uniform. Gently form the mixture into 1-inch round meatballs ( I made them smaller this time for the soup).
Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the meatballs on a wire rack in a cookie sheet or roasting pan. Cook for approximately 20 to 30 minutes or until well browned.
For the soup, heat the olive oil in a large heavy-bottomed soup pot. Add the onion, carrots and celery and saute until softened, 5 to 6 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the chicken stock and wine and bring to a boil. Add the pasta to the simmering broth and cook for 6 to 8 minutes, until the pasta is tender. Add the meatballs to the soup and simmer for one minute. Add salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the fresh spinach and cook for 1 minute, until the spinach is just wilted. Ladle into soup bowls and sprinkle with extra grated Parmesan cheese.
This recipe makes a lot of soup. The original recipe is double what I have shown here, but we halved it and it still made enough soup for dinner tonight and filled storage containers for 4 or 5 lunches, so you can get a lot mileage out of this one. it made the entire house smell great while it was cooking. You could use any type of small pasta that you like for this soup, we just happen to have orzo on hand so we decided to use that instead. The other nice thing was I made extra meatballs so we have some to use for some sauce for a dinner this week.
Okay, it’s really hot and humid here today, so I am going to slip into the air conditioning in the bedroom and relax for the rest of the evening. I do have some recipes planned for this week using shrimp, chicken and maybe some squid. We’ll see if anything comes up along the way. Until next time, enjoy your evening and enjoy your meal!