Wednesday, November 28, 2012
Italian Wedding Soup
The weather outside is getting colder and The Other Williams and I start craving soups this time of year. Soups have so many benefits it makes it difficult to ignore them. The most important one for us is the comfort a warm bowl of soup can bring on a cold day.
This soup is truly a masterpiece in a bowl. It's delicate yet hardy. It has amazing textures and the flavor is outstanding. It reminds me of chicken noodle soup only better. Italian Wedding soup is traditionally a green vegetable, meat (meatballs or sausage) and a clear broth. I think the key to making this amazing is good homemade broth.
Italian Wedding soup is actually a mistranslation of the Italian language phrase "minestra maritata ("married soup")," which is a reference to the fact that green vegetables and meats go well together.
We make ours with meatballs and usually make a large batch of meatballs and freeze them. If you freeze the meatballs this soup literally takes no time to make, but it looks like it took hours. We also use spinach but you could use any greens you have or like. I hope you'll try this delicious soup this winter, it's truly lovely.
Italian Wedding Soup
Serves 6 to 8
Recipe by The Kitchn
3/4 pound ground organic meat (chicken, turkey, pork or beef)
1/2 cup dry bread crumbs
3 large eggs
1/2 cup grated Romano cheese, divided
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano (or 1 teaspoon dried)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 medium yellow onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
8 cups chicken stock
1 bunch greens trimmed and torn into bite-sized pieces (about 6 lightly packed cups)
Combine the ground meat, bread crumbs, 1 egg, 1/4 cup of each cheese, oregano, salt and pepper in a bowl. Mix thoroughly, then form the mixture into 3/4-inch to 1 1/2-inch balls. You should have 20 to 30 meatballs, depending on how large you form them.
In large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium high heat. Add the meatballs in batches, and cook, turning, until browned all over, 3 to 5 minutes. (If they are still a bit pink in the middle, don't worry, they will continue to cook in the broth.) Set them aside on paper towels to absorb excess oil.
In a 4 to 6 quart soup pot, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil over medium high heat. Add the onion and garlic and sauté until onions are tender and garlic is soft, but not browned, about 5 minutes. Add the stock and bring to a boil. Add the greens, reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the meatballs and cook another 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, combine remaining 2 eggs and remaining cheeses in small bowl and stir with a fork to blend. Slow pour the egg mixture into hot soup, stirring constantly. Cover and simmer just until egg bits are set, about 1 minute. Season to taste with salt and black pepper, maybe even a squirt of lemon juice, and serve immediately in a low bowl if possible so the meatballs are visible.
To re-heat, simmer gently over low heat.