Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Italian Wedding Soup (What a lovely name for a soup!)

My sister-in-law Sherry's hubby posted that they were having Italian Wedding soup one night and that got me intrigued. A soup you only serve during weddings? I found out it was simply soup with meatballs and pasta in it. I found a simple recipe from Rachel Ray and adapted it.

Mini-Meatball Soup (Italian Wedding Soup)
Recipe courtesy Rachael Ray

Prep Time: 20 min
Inactive Prep Time: --
Cook Time: 27 min
Level: Easy
Serves: 4 big servings

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (I used butter)
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 ribs celery, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
2 bay leaves, fresh or dried
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 pound ground beef, pork and veal combined (I used 1/2 pound ground beef and 1/2 pound ground pork)
1 egg, beaten
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or Romano, (I omitted this)
1/2 cup plain bread crumbs, a couple of handfuls
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated or ground nutmeg
6 cups chicken stock or broth
2 cups water
1-1/2 cups dried pasta, rings, broken fettuccini or ditalini (I used broken spaghetti)
1 pound triple washed fresh spinach, coarsely chopped (I used kale)

1. In a deep pot over medium heat add oil, chopped carrots, celery and onions and bay leaves. Season with salt and pepper. Cover pot and cook veggies 5 or 6 minutes, stirring occasionally.

2. While the veggies cook, in a large mixing bowl combine meat, egg, garlic, grated cheese, bread crumbs, salt, pepper, nutmeg.

3. Uncover your soup pot and add broth and water to the pot. Increase heat to high and bring soup to a boil. When soup boils, reduce heat a bit and start to roll meat mixture into small balls, dropping them straight into the pot. You are making meat dumplings that will cook in the broth. When you are done rolling the meat, add pasta to the soup and stir. Cover and simmer soup 10 minutes. When pasta is tender, stir in chopped spinach in batches. When spinach has wilted into the soup, the soup is done and ready to serve. Salt & pepper to taste.

I served this with garlic bread for the kids. It was a hit, especially with Jai who had two bowls.

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