Italian Wedding Soup

Italian Wedding Soup came up in a conversation and I realized I had never tried it. I’ve seen the bags in the frozen food section of the grocery but frozen foods do not appeal; often being too salty or just tasting lifeless.

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Meatballs

  • 1 lb Ground chicken
  • 1 lb Chicken sausage, removed from casings
  • 1 C Panko breadcrumbs
  • 5 Cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1/4 C Parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 C Parmesan, grated
  • 1/2 C Romano, grated
  • 2 Eggs, beaten
  • 1 t Salt
  • 1 t Ground black pepper

Soup

  • 1 C Yellow Onion, chopped
  • 1 C Carrots, chopped
  • 1 C Bell Peppers, chopped (I used 1 orange, 1 red)
  • 1 C Celery, chopped
  • 4-6 T Olive oil
  • 2-3 C Arugula, packed
  • 2-3 C Spinach, packed
  • 1 C small pasta, cooked and drained (I used tubetini)
  • 1 C White wine
  • 10 C Chicken stock

Prepare
Put all the meatball ingredients in a large bowl and mix by hand. Cover the mixture and refrigerate for at least one hour. Form meatballs about 1/2-1″ in diameter. Bake at 375 for 20 minutes. Set aside

Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large, heavy pan. Add onion, carrots, peppers and celery. Saute for until veggies are tender – about 5-7 minutes. Add wine, reduce heat to low and cook until most of the wine evaporates, stirring occasionally. Transfer meatballs and veggies to a slow cooker, add stock and pasta, cover and cook on low for 30 minutes. In batches, add the arugula and spinach, stirring in the greens until wilted. Continue to cook the lot on low for another 30-60 minutes for flavours to blend.

Deliver
Put soup in bowl then sprinkle with some more cheese. My research assistant suggested serving with garlic bread. Unfortunately that suggestion came too late and we were hungry but its a good thought just the same.

This makes gobs, so in case you aren’t serving 12 people, you’ll be happy to know it freezes quite well.

Wine Interlude
I didn’t have any white wine laying about so I went hunting for something interesting. Italian whites, which at least would have been keeping in the ethnic vein of the dish, didn’t really appeal, usually they are too light or too sweet. This Chilean came as a recommendation from my wine adviser.

We really liked Falernia Sauvignon Blanc solo and paired with the soup – it is dry but it carries an interesting fruit flavour not expected from Chilean wine – green apple, pineapple and pear. Its crisp, medium bodied with a slight shale mineral quality.

Tasting Post Mortem
We liked. Most of the flavour is carried by the meatballs, since the stock and veggies are lightly flavoured. To me it was a little too salty,  next time I might cut down the amount of parmesan in the meatballs or make the stock a little weaker.

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