May 12, 2011
Hillary

Italian Wedding Soup

Italian Wedding Soup

I know it’s getting more and more warm; well actually today felt like full on summer down here in the south. But there are still some days that I still crave a bowl of comfort food and for me that usually includes a soup. That doesn’t seem like the normal choice when it’s getting steamy outside and the air conditioning ┬áis slowing getting turned higher and higher. But despite all this, soups usually still make appearances on my dinner table throughout the summer.

For this italian wedding soup, I actually saw a picture of when I first made it about a month or two ago and was reminded of how great the flavor was. It quickly made this week’s dinner list! It’s also quite fitting for my Ina Garten fix I’ve been on with this week’s blogs! Can you tell, I’m a fan! This soup is a combination of mini meatballs, mini noodles, basic veggies and spinach. You can’t let the meatballs deter you from making this or thinking that it’s too complex for a busy weeknight meal. It’s none of those things! The meatballs cook in the oven while you get the rest of the soup going on the stove and everything is still done in about 35 minutes! You also can’t discount the turkey part of the meatballs! There is so much flavor added to the turkey you’ll forget that your meatball is so healthy!

Here is what you’ll need to put this soup together!
Ingredients:

(Adapted from Ina Garten. Makes 3 servings.)

Meatballs

  • 3/4 pound ground white turkey meat
  • 1/3 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 glove garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1/8 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese
  • 1/8 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon milk
  • 1 large egg
  • Salt and fresh ground black pepper

Soup

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup yellow onion, minced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 5 cups unsalted chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup small pasta
  • 1/8 cup fresh dill, minced
  • 6 ounces fresh spinach leaves

It’s best to start with the meatballs. (Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with tinfoil.) In a large mixing bowl, combine the turkey meat, bread crumbs, garlic, parsley, Pecorino, Parmesan, milk, egg, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. I should note that I didn’t add the whole egg. I crack it in a glass, whisk it up and then only pour in about 1/2 of the egg mixture. With everything added to the bowl, you can just use a fork combine everything completely. No messy hands needed!! To make the mini meatballs, you can use a mini ice cream scoop, a teaspoon, or a small spoon and you should be able to make about 25-30 meatballs. Add them to the lined baking sheet and bake for approximately 3o minutes.

Meatballs ready for oven.

While the meatballs bake away, you can start the rest of the soup. In a large pot, heat the olive oil on medium-low heat. Add the chopped onion, carrots, celery and saute for about 5 minutes. Pour in the white wine and chicken broth and bring to a boil. Add the small pasta and let it cook for 5 to 6 minutes. I thought mini bowtie pasta was a good choice, however the whole mini part was deceiving! They soaked up all the liquid and looked normal size to me! I would recommend a different small pasta!

Once the pasta is cooked, your meatballs should be about done. They will get a golden brown, but you can always cut into one a little to be sure. Add the meatballs, minced dill, and salt and pepper to the soup.

Meatballs out of the oven and added to the soup.

Let the meatballs and dill simmer in the soup for a minute and then stir in the fresh spinach. You’ll add more than you think you really need but after a few minutes the spinach will start to melt and you’ll be asking where it all went! If you loose too much liquid, just add some more broth or water.

Last step: Spinach added to the soup.

Ladle the soup into bowls, top with a little more Parmesan cheese and you’re ready for dinner/lunch!

Time to eat!

I told you it didn’t take too much time to put this soup together but you’ll have to make it to believe me when I say how delicious it is! The dill adds such great flavor; it really makes every bite so fresh! And the meatballs are moist and taste great with the addition of the parsley and cheeses! Plus, for those that love meatballs here is another way to eat meatballs that doesn’t involve the normal tomato sauce, pasta dish. It’s great on cold days, warm days, under-the-weather days, busy, long days, and the list could go on! For now, that’s Italian Wedding Soup…in the shell of a nut!

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