Sunday, November 4, 2007

Peppery Italian Wedding Soup

I've been in a funk the entire day. When I'm feeling this way I have learned that it is best to keep myself involved in something. One thing I commonly find myself getting into is cooking. So I decided to make a soup. Because I have about 5lbs. of ground beef seperated into 1lb portions in the freezer, I decided to free up some space in there and use a pound. I was in the mood for something comforting, so I was thinking soup. I was desiring a brothy soup, but also something hearty. After fumbling through recipes, I concluded on an Italian wedding soup. Like chicken noodle, there are many variations to this soup. It can include various veggies and proteins, but the star ingredient is the mini meatball. For my adaptation I added a small pasta (pastina) as well as kale and lots of pepper. The soup hit the spot, and the best thing was that it was very simple to prepare, quick to cook, and let me ease my mind from distress.

Italian Wedding Soup
For the meatballs:
  • 1lb lean ground beef
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. dried basil
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • Salt and Pepper

  • 1 small onion diced
  • 3 carrots chopped
  • 2 large celery stalks chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 2 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 1 Tbs. olive oil
  • tsp. of each: oregano, basil, parsley flakes
  • 3 large stems of kale torn into pieces with hands
  • 1 cup white mushroom chopped
  • Salt
  • Fresh gound pepper (I used a lot. about 1 and a half Tbs. The spice just kicks it up so nicely!)
  • 8 + chicken broth (for this batch I used 11 cups.
  • 1 cup (or more like I like it) small pasta such as pastina
Heat oven to 350 degrees
Add all meat ball ingredients and mix with hands until just combined. Do not over mix!
Roll into little meatballs and put on cooling rack set over a baking sheet so the fat can drip away from the meat. Cook for 10-12 minutes.
While meatballs are cooking heat oil and butter in a large pot over med. heat. Saute onions, celery, mushrooms, carrots, thyme, and bay leaves. Cook until onions are soft and add garlic. Saute a few minutes and then add broth, oregano, basil, salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer and add Kale and pastina. Take meatballs out of oven add them to the pot and let simmer about 10-15 minutes. Serve with a little grated parmesan and crusty bread.


Beth G. @SweetLifeKitchen said...

I made my hubby French toast this morning too! This looks delicious :O)