Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Italian Wedding Soup

Italian Wedding Soup

I have been wanting to make this type of soup for a year. I kid you not! Despite my refrigerator troubles, I decided to go ahead and make this yesterday. The one blessing in this whole mess is that my freezer still works so I was able to freeze the leftovers. Anyway, it was last winter when it got slightly chilly that I decided I really wanted to make an Italian wedding soup, but it never stays cold for too long here in the land of the lost, so I never got around to making it. It isn't really cold right now, but I have been craving something other than the frozen convenience foods I have been consuming lately. These meatballs could quite possibly be the best meatballs I have ever made. The spicy kick from the Italian sausage kept them interesting and using a higher fat turkey kept them moist without being mushy. Surprisingly, for an Ina Garten recipe, this is quite healthy and I made sure to add tons of extra spinach and only use a bit of the pasta called for in the original recipe. This is a great, hearty soup that won't weigh you down or have you feeling guilty after you eat it.

Italian Wedding Soup (blurry-ish)

Italian Wedding Soup
(Adapted from Ina Garten)

Makes 4-5 servings

For the meatballs:
1/2 pound ground turkey (93% lean)
1/4 pound hot Italian chicken sausage, casings removed
1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
2 teaspoons grated garlic
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan, plus extra for serving
1 extra-large egg, lightly beaten
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the soup:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small yellow onion, diced
1/2 cup diced carrots, cut into 1/4 inch pieces
1/4 cup diced celery, cut into 1/4 inch pieces
5 cups chicken stock
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup small pasta such as tubetini or stars
2 tablespoons minced fresh dill
6 ounces baby spinach, washed and trimmed

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

For the meatballs, place the ground chicken, sausage, bread crumbs, garlic, parsley, Parmesan, 1/2 the egg, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a bowl and combine gently with a fork. With a teaspoon, drop 1 to 1 1/4-inch meatballs onto a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. (You should have about 16-20 meatballs) Bake for 25-30 minutes, until cooked through and lightly browned. Set aside.

In the meantime, for the soup, heat the olive oil over medium-low heat in a large heavy-bottomed soup pot. Add the onion, carrots, and celery and saute until softened, 5 to 6 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the chicken stock and wine and bring to a boil. Add the pasta to the simmering broth and cook for 6 to 8 minutes, until the pasta is tender. Add the fresh dill and then the meatballs to the soup and simmer for 1 minute. Taste for salt and pepper. Stir in the fresh spinach and cook for 1 minute, until the spinach is just wilted. Ladle into soup bowls and sprinkle each serving with extra grated Parmesan if desired.

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Olga said...

It looks really really good! I have a recipe I've been meaning to make for a year too, so I know how you feel :)

The Food Librarian said...

I want this! It looks perfect for our cold SoCal nights! :)

The Active Foodie said...

Looks delicious, I wish I had a big bowl of that right now! Perfect for my sore throat and this rain!!

Joy said...

Mmm...yum, yum! I love Italian wedding soup! this from your new camera! Very sexy. :D

Diana said...

Don't you just love Ina Garten? I bet she'd win Top Chef without breaking a sweat!

I think today is the perfect day to defrost your leftover soup!

Gaby said...

omg yummmmmmmmmmm! I am with Sonja -this looks like the perfect soup for today's lousy weather!

Hungry Dog said...

I've made this recipe several times and really love it. So great that you can bake the meatballs rather than fry them. Pretty photos!

The Cooking Photographer said...

Ok so I'll make this one instead of pho. Maybe next week I'll do pho. I always feel so peaceful when I visit here. It must be your energy Esi. I am typically high strung and bouncing off the walls lol.


Sarah said...

I came over from the cooking photographers blog, I am happy I did! What a beautiful soup.

kellypea said...

I have only had weak canned versions of this and like it. I can only imagine how this tastes! It looks sooooo good.

Samantha Kate said...

This was an incredibly cute episode of Barefoot Contessa! One of these days I'm going to make this soup, it looks sooo good.

Easy Italian Recipes said...

Hi! Your Italian wedding soup was nominated as one of the "Best Italian Wedding Soup Recipes on the Net". To vote for it, please visit (your recipe is positioned at #173).