Sunday, February 24, 2008

Italian Wedding Soup

This week's soup is Italian Wedding Soup. I stumbled across this soup on the shelves of the grocery store a few years ago. I bought it thinking I was trying something tied to an Italian wedding tradition. I loved the soup-even from a can-but I've since found out that the name has nothing to do with a wedding per se. The term "wedding soup" is a mistranslation of the Italian language, minestra maritata, which refers not to the marriage of man/wife but the "marriage" of green vegetables and meat.

Tying in with my February theme of Food Network Recipes, this is a Giada De Laurentiis recipe. Her original recipe is here, I cut down the ingredients to serve 4-6 and made a few substitutions based on recipe feedback.

Italian Wedding Soup
Serves: 4-6
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes

1/2 small onion, grated
3 Tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
1 large egg
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/4 cup Italian bread crumbs
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
4 ounces ground beef
4 ounces ground Italian pork sausage
Freshly ground black pepper

6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 c. dry Acini de Pepe pasta (cook separately)
1 1/2 cups kale coarsely chopped (escarole, endive or even spinach would be a good substitution)
1 large egg (I actually used 1/2)
2 tablespoon freshly grated Parmesan, plus extra for garnish
Freshly ground black pepper

To make the meatballs:
Stir the first 5 meatball ingredients in a large bowl to blend. Stir in the cheese, beef and pork sausage. Using 1 teaspoons for each, shape the meat mixture into 1-inch-diameter meatballs. Place off to the side.

To make the soup:
Bring the broth to a boil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the meatballs and simmer until the meatballs are cooked through, about 8 minutes. Add kale and cooked Acini de Pepe pasta and simmer a few minute more until kale is tender. Whisk the egg and cheese in a medium bowl to blend. Stir the soup in a circular motion. Gradually drizzle the egg mixture into the moving broth, stirring gently with a fork to form thin stands of egg, about 1 minute. Season the soup to taste with pepper.

Ladle the soup into bowls and serve. Finish soup with Parmesan cheese if desired.

1. Here's what the box of Acini de Pepe pasta looks like:
2. You can also see what it looks like once it's been cooked and added to the soup:
3. I added about 1 1/2 tsp. dry soup base/bouillon to the broth to pump up the flavor.
4. Check out the recipe reviews to see other suggestions.
5. This isn't a "pretty" soup but is very good and filling. Both DH and I thought the meatballs were amazing and would like to try the meatball recipe with spaghetti.


At 2/25/2008 , Blogger Bezzie said...

Hm, that looks delish! I used to hit this one restaurant specifically for their IWS. The only thing is it gave me horrible skanky breath afterwards.

I wonder if this recipe is crockpottable?

At 2/26/2008 , Blogger Michelle said...

My word, Woman! You do know how to drive a gal crazy! I'm so hungry now.


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