Italian Wedding Soup

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By: Corinne

I love soup. While I tend to move away from soups in the summer in favour of salads and BBQ, we still seem to get a good number of summer soup days here in Thunder Bay – rainy, chilly, and perfect for soup.

Full disclosure- despite living in a city with a large Italian population, I’ve never actually had Italian wedding soup. What inspired me to try this was the lunch time leftovers of a co worker(who is actually Italian). I love soups, and was intrigued by the tiny round pastas. I asked her about her lunch and she told me it was just ‘chicken broth, little meatballs, spinach and pasta’. So I tracked myself down some Acini de Pepe and set forth on investigating just what goes into an Italian Wedding Soup. Of course, it turns out that like many other traditional things, it seems like this soup has a wide variety of ingredients. Mostly inspired by Giadia De Laurentiis but with some additions and omissions.

Time: ~15 min prep, 30 min cook

Serves: about 8 servings

You Will Need:

  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 1/2 lb ground pork
  • handful of fresh grated asiago or parmesan
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 small onion grated
  • 1 cup fresh bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup whole milk or cream
  • fresh pepper
  • 12 cups chicken broth (or 12 cups water, 6 tbsp veggie bouillon)
  • 1 parmesan rind
  • 150g frozen chopped spinach – could probably have used some more, but that’s all I  had 🙂
  • 1 cup Acini de Pepe or other tiny pasta

Combine broth, and if you have one, a parmesean rind. Bring broth to a simmer.

Combine milk and bread crumbs, then mix with all other  ingredients for meat balls. Shape into small balls using a scant 1/2 tbsp of mix 0r less if you want really tiny meat balls. As you shape them, drop them into the simmering broth. Continue until you have used up all of the meat.

Add spinach and allow to continue to simmer for 20 minutes. Note, no harm will come to the soup if it simmers for an hour rather than 20 minutes 🙂

Prepare 1 cup of Acini de Pepe  or other tiny pasta in a separate pot. When pasta is cooked, put a generous portion of pasta in each bowl and ladle soup over top. Garnish with more asiago if desired.

I like to prepare the noodles separately for leftovers- as I find too many hours sitting in soup makes pasta too mushy. Putting a little bit of butter on the leftover plain pasta while it is hot will keep the extras from sticking together.  This way it can be kept separate until reheating. Leftover soup (without pasta!) can be frozen.

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