As Roger and I head to Boston for an anniversary get away we were looking forward to driving “the North Route” to appreciate God’s beauty in the foliage at this time of the year…well here we are in the rain….pouring rain…made us think that even in the clouds and gloom we need to find sunshine and happiness.
It is on days like this that it is so nice to hunker down, spend time in the kitchen and whip something up…maybe a good day for some soup? So light some candles, have a nice cup of coffee and start thinking about the dinner.
How about some good Italian Wedding Soup? Only fitting that on this our anniversary trip we make some wedding soup.
Gabby and I made this just the other day…Gabby finds it very therapeutic to roll all the little meatballs, and I find it very therapeutic to let her…so if you can find a helper by all means do it…I love having the kids in kitchen helping me cook great time to talk about the day.
On days like this Italian Wedding Soup is almost as good as a bubble bath, some candles and a nice glass of wine.
This may seem overwhelming, as we will be simmering all day, but the actual hands on and preparation is only a fraction of the time. If you have a crock pot now’s the time to use it.
Italian Wedding Soup
For the Soup:
Olive Oil (cover bottom of pan)
1 Onion chopped
3 Cloves Garlic chopped
5 Stalks of Celery chopped
5 Carrots peeled and chopped
1 head Escarole (washed and chopped)
Kosher Salt and Pepper
Small Pasta – pastina (cook according to box instructions and add to the bowls as you serve the soup this way you don’t have soggy pasta in your soup).
For the Meatballs:
1 lb Ground Beef
2 cloves garlic chopped
1 cup bread crumbs (soaked in water or wine)
1 T Italian Seasoning
½ cup parmigiano cheese (optional)
Kosher salt and pepper
Now to get to work….
For the Soup:
- Heat olive oil in large soup pot, add onions and garlic and sauté for 5 or 10 minutes
- Add celery and carrots and continue to sauté until veggies are soft.
- Add the washed and chopped escarole cook until wilted (be careful because any water residue may splatter and spray in pan when you add to oil).
- Right now it should smell so nice in your kitchen.
- Add the seasoning, salt, pepper and chicken and enough water to cover the chicken (please make sure you took the giblets out of the chicken before putting it in the pot you can discard or cook them if you want). Now you can just let that come to a boil and simmer for an hour to 2 or 3…I usually like to boil it to the point that chicken is falling apart but not to the point that when I try to remove it from the pan that it falls apart in pan.
- If you have a large slotted spoon, this would be the time to use it…gently remove chicken to a bowl and you will need to take meat off bones and return it to the pan. (I usually like to let it cool a bit before trying to do this)
- There you go…this would be a good time to transfer to a crock pot if you would like.
For the meatballs:
- Combine all the ingredients
- Roll in small balls (I would say half the size of a golf ball, we like them pretty small).
- Cover baking sheet with oil and bake in oven at 350. How long will depend on how small you make them, anywhere from 20-30 minutes (or you can fry them on stovetop if you prefer, I like to bake them less oil and less mess).
- Add meatballs to soup 20 minutes before serving.
- You can go the easy route and use boneless chicken breasts/and or thighs and chicken broth if you are tight on time or just don’t feel like taking chicken apart. I would cut chicken up and brown it in pan with olive oil before you add onions and garlic…
- Now let’s talk chicken broth…so many choices, you can have low sodium or regular or chicken stock…all these are your preference. Just remember if you are using low sodium or regular you may need to adjust your salt. Also chicken stock is more flavorful so it would work well. Broth may just need some more seasoning to get a nice flavor.
I would serve this with a nice crusty piece of bread maybe warmed in the oven…Add your pasta and soup to bowls, sprinkle some more cheese over the soup when you serve it and you are ready to go!! Enjoy!! And don’t forget to let me know how it goes!!