I recently saw a recipe for Italian Wedding Soup on Ina Garten’s website. The picture of the soup drew me in and I realized I had never tried the soup before! It is such a classic Italian recipe and I knew that I needed to make t. I wanted to test out Ina’s recipe for an upcoming party that we are hosting and it will be an Italian theme. Ina’s recipe called for chicken sausage and ground chicken to be used to make the meatballs. Most of the recipes I found called for beef or pork or a combination of the two. I decided to follow the recipe to a “T” but, went with all organic ingredients(that’s my twist). I have to say there were a ton of ingredients but it was not a hard recipe to make. I loved the idea of baking the meatballs in the oven, as opposed to a skillet. Another addition that Ina made was dill. I looked through a few other recipes and this was not something used. I compared Ina’s recipe to Giada De Laurentiis’ recipe, since she is the Queen of Italian cuisine. They did use quite a few different ingredients. Ina used Spinach and Giada used Curly Endive. Giada also did not include celery and carrots to her soup. As I am typing this I am realizing that I should make Giada’s recipe:). I did like Ina’s but I would have preferred it to have beef or pork meatballs and no carrots and celery. I have never liked carotsorn celery in my soup…strange, I know…but I don’t like it!
The hubs did not care for it at all but my son loved it. So, this recipe is not a winner or a failure. It is all about tweaking the ingredients and making it you own. It was very hearty and would be awesome on a cold day. The broth was very flavorful and the meatballs were full of cheesy goodness. I am glad I finally made this classic recipe and I think it was a very healthy option with the use of organic chicken and vegetables. Let me know if you have tried this soup and what you think!
Ina Garten’s Italian Wedding Soup
For the meatballs:
3/4 pound ground chicken
1/2 pound chicken sausage, casings removed
2/3 cup fresh white bread crumbs
2 teaspoons minced garlic (2 cloves)
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
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
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the soup:
2 tablespoons good olive oil
1 cup 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 homemade chicken stock
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 cup small pasta such as tubetini or stars
1/4 cup minced fresh dill
12 ounces baby spinach, washed and trimmed
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
For the meatballs, place the ground chicken, sausage, bread crumbs, garlic, parsley, Pecorino, Parmesan, milk, egg, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a bowl and combine gently with a fork. With a teaspoon, drop 1 to 1 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 to 8 minutes, until the pasta is tender. Add the fresh dill and then the meatballs to the soup and simmer for 1 minute. Taste for salt and pepper. Stir in the fresh spinach and cook for 1 minute, until the spinach is just wilted. Ladle into soup bowls and sprinkle each serving with extra grated Parmesan.
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