Italian Wedding Soup
Soup is always a season essential. It highlights current produce, its weight and heartiness counter balances the weather and it can stand up to an elegant dinner party as well as a casual meal on the couch. This winter we're revisiting a classic, Italian Wedding Soup. It's name derived from the "marriage of flavors" that occur from cooking the meatballs in the soup over time. Of course, the longer the soup sits the more the flavors meld. This hearty and meaty soup is always warming and filling.
- 6-8 cups of Chicken Stock
- 1 ½2 cups of diced Carrot
- 1 ½2 cups of diced Celery
- 1 tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 large Bay Leaf
- 1 cup of cooked Orzo or Isreali Cous Cous
- 1 bag of Baby Spinach or chopped Kale
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- 1 lb Ground Beef
- ½ cup Minced Shallots
- 1 cup of Diced Parsley
- 2 tbsp of Granulated Garlic
- 1 slice of Day Old Bread (crust removed, food processor) or ½ cup of Bread Crumbs
- 2 Eggs Beaten
- ½ cup of Parmesan or Pecorino Romano Cheese
- Salt and Pepper
- Prepare your vegetables. Dice the carrots, celery and parsley, mince the shallots and if using kale, chop it down into smaller chunks.
- In a large soup pot, bring the chicken stock to a simmer then add the leafy greens, carrots, celery, bay leaf, olive oil, salt and pepper.
- In a separate bowl, mix the meat ball ingredients together. Prepare your home made bread crumbs if necessary.
- Roll out the small meat balls one at a time between your palms.
- Drop the raw meat balls into the broth to cook in the soup. This allows all the juices released during cooking to flavor the soup.
- While soup is simmering, prepare the orzo or Israeli cous cous in a separate sauce pan.
- Simmer the soup for a total of 30-45 minutes till the meat balls are cooked through.
- To serve the soup, spoon some cooked orzo or cous cous into individual bowls then ladle the soup over top.
- Garnish it with lemon juice and a drizzle of olive oil if desired.