Well, as some of you may know, Eileen recently proposed (see comment section of the last post), and the timing couldn’t be more perfect. The recipe today is for wedding soup. I first saw this recipe featured on The Barefoot Contessa. Ina was making a special anniversary dinner for her husband and while soup would not be on my top ten list of things I want to eat on my anniversary, it looked delicious and on a cold fall/winter day, it seemed perfect.
The problem is I had several perfect recipes to choose from, for example abondigas soup (mexican meatball soup), meatball and tomato soup from Rao’s Recipes From the Neighborhood cookbook, and Ina’s wedding soup recipe with chicken meatballs. Are you sensing a theme? I decided to go with Ina because, well, she’s never steered me wrong (well there was that one time I tried her butternut squash/apple soup which ended up tasting like baby food).
I made a couple of changes, but stayed pretty true to the original recipe. I would like to make the chicken meatballs again in some other meal, maybe a tomato based soup? I’ll let you know.
Italian Wedding Soup
(adapted slightly from Ina Garten)
For the meatballs:
- 3/4 pound ground chicken
- 1/2 pound chicken sausage, casings removed (I used one mild and one hot)
- 2/3 cup fresh white bread crumbs (I used store bought – don’t tell)
- 4-5 cloves minced garlic
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh italian parsley
- 1/4 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano
- 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan, plus extra for serving
- 3 tablespoons milk
- 1 extra large egg, lightly beaten (I used a large egg)
- kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
For the soup:
- 2 tablespoons good olive oil
- 1 up minced yellow onion
- 1 cup diced carrots (3 carrots), cut into 1/4 inch pieces
- 3/4 cup diced celery (2 stalks), cut into 1/4 inch pieces.
- 10 cups chicken stock
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1 cup small pasta (I use ditali)
- 1/4 cup fresh dill
- 12 ounces (1 head) escarole
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
For the meatballs, place the ground chicken, sausage, bread crumbs, garlic, parsley, Pecorino, Parmesan, milk, egg, 1 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp pepper in a bowl and combine gently with a fork. With a teaspoon (I use an extra-small ice cream scoop), drop 1 to 1/4 inch meatballs onto a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. (You should have about 40 meatballs. They don’t have to be perfectly round.) Bake for 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 6-8 minutes, until the pasta is tender. Add the fresh dill and then the meatballs to the soup and simmer for 1 minute. Add salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the fresh escarole and cook for 1 minute until just wilted. Ladle into soup bowls and sprinkle each serving with extra grated Parmesan.