One woman's foray into cooking for herself, for her family, and for her friends. It's not always picture-perfect, sometimes a little messy,
but it's always delicious. Join me in exploring new recipes, savoring the "résultats" and learning from the "erreurs".

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Italian Wedding Soup

Italian Wedding Soup. I always thought that it was so called because it was traditionally served at Italian weddings. A little research uncovered that while Italian-American weddings may include it as a favorite part of the menu, the actual origin came from the way the flavors of the dish marry so well together.  My favorite part of Italian Wedding Soup are the tiny little meatballs.  They're so tender from being cooked in the broth, and, in return, they impart such a wonderful flavor to the broth.

A couple of years ago, I tried Rachael Ray's recipe for this soup.  As her recipes promise to be, it's quick and easy.  And though that's not necessarily a prerequisite in my kitchen, it sure is nice when I'm tired but want something healthy and filling.  What a great way to end the week!

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
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 sirloin and 1/2 pound ground pork)
1 egg, beaten
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or Romano, a couple of handfuls
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 orecchiette)
1 pound triple washed fresh spinach, coarsely chopped (I used arugula)

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.

While the veggies cook, combine meat, egg, garlic, grated cheese, bread crumbs, salt, pepper, nutmeg.

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. Adjust your seasonings.


Reeni said...

This is one of my all-time favorites! It looks positively delicious!

Thibeault's Table said...

Oh Lori, I love Italian Wedding soup. Your recipe looks like a keeper. The broth looks so rich.

La Table De Nana said...

Thanks for filling me in on the real meanung..I recently made Ina's.. could eat them all week these soups:)

Cathy said...

Today is definitely a soup day here in the Northwest. This is one of my favorites, Lori. I could eat a bowlful for breakfast.

Sand Hill Art said...

One of the great classic soups, for sure.
My Grandma and her sisters used to make it with tiny spinach-filled ravioli. They made it for my aunt's wedding 54 years ago.

Cucinista said...

This looks wonderful -- perfect chilly night fare.

Linda said...

Can I have a bowl of this right now please!
Looks like you used your "liquid gold" for this one Lori!

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