Monday, November 28, 2011

Italian Wedding Soup

Italian wedding soup
It was a soup weekend.
I felt slightly under the weather on Saturday and the best medicine for the flu is a bowl of hot, steaming soup. Its smell is really appealing (imagine the little meatballs with the melting parmesan browning slowly in the oven, who can continue sleeping with such a tasty alarm). Children came to the kitchen still wearing their pijamas, asking: Mmmm, what are you cooking today, Mum? So I knew, I would have to share it with them. D. also didn't need an invitation to take his spoon, so the below mentioned amounts of ingredients were enough only for one meal for four hungry "Italians". We all liked it very much and I do not know whether the Italians really eat it on their weddings, but it is tasty and nourishing, herby from the spices and fresh from the spinach. 

Why exactly this soup? While watching Desperate housewives some weeks ago I heard for a first time about it (of course, Bree Van De Kamp prepared it and did I tell you, that I deeply admire her cooking success?). The net is full of recipes for this dish and the main ingredients according to them are meatballs (most often from ground chicken or turkey or from chicken sausage), small pasta and spinach. We prefer pork meat, so I used minced pork. 
I suppose, you can use whatever meat you like most of all.
This will not make somebody run from the wedding, you must be sure. 

Italian wedding soup

For the meatballs:
  • 600 g (1.3 lb) mince meat (pork, chicken or beef)
  • 3 Tbsp grated parmesan
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3 Tbsp parsley (chopped)
  • salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 1 thin slice of white stale bread
Italian wedding soup For the soup:
  • 2 celery sticks
  • 2 middle carrots
  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 60 g (2 oz) unsalted butter
  • 100 g (3 oz) spinach
  • 1/2 cup orzo (or any other small pasta)
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
Italian wedding soup

Preheat oven to 200°C (400°F). Put the slice of bread onto a baking tray and bake for 10 minutes until lightly browned. Grind and combine with the meat, parmesan, chopped parsley, olive oil, salt and pepper. Mince garlic and add to the mixture. Make small balls (abot 3 cm diameter) and place on a baking tray in the oven. Bake for 20-30 minutes until light brown.
Italian wedding soupMeanwhile chop the carrots, celery and onion and sautee for 10 minutes. Add the chicken broth and the meatballs and let boil for 15 minutes on medium heat. Pour the wine into the baking tray to collect the fat from the meatballs sticked on the bottom of the tray and add the liquid to the broth. Stir in the spinach and the pasta and cook for additional 10 minutes. Serve hot.

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