So I have been looking forward to making Italian Wedding Soup as soon at the calendar changed over to October, crisp cool weather was on its way and that meant soup season was upon us. Funny thing happened though, instead of getting colder, it got warmer. It was in the 80's this past weekend and I realized that my soup making days weren't quite as close as I thought and then I thought screw it, 80 degrees or not I'm making soup.
I've only made Italian Wedding Soup one time before and it was well over a year ago. I sort of winged it the first time and did the same thing this time around too. It's a fairly simple soup to make but does get a bit tedious when rolling out dozens upon dozen of mini meatballs. I actually didn't make my meatballs that mini because I like when there's a little bit of substance to them, but that's just my preference. I also browned my meatballs a bit before throwing them in the soup, I like the little bit of extra flavor it gives them.
To top it all off since this was a bit of an impromptu soup making experience I didn't have the right pasta on hand, orzo or ditalini pasta are good bets and usually I have them in my pantry but not tonight. No tonight I was limited to fettucine, spaghetti and farfalle. So what's a girl to do but improvise? I broke down the fettucine pasta into one inch pieces and made the best of it. After all, if there's anything at all to be learned about cooking it's that rules are meant to be broken.
So toss in any pasta you'd like, brown your meatballs or not, make them dime or quarter or even half dollar sized. Do whatever makes you happy and eat your soup in 80 degree weather.
Italian Wedding Soup
Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 30 minutes I Cook Time: 45 minutes
For the Soup:
- 10 cups chicken broth
- 2 cups water
- 6 oz fresh spinach
- 1 small onion diced
- 2 gloves of garlic diced
- 8 ounces pasta
- Salt & Pepper
For the Meatballs
- 1 lb chopped meat
- 1 egg
- 1 slice white bread
- 1/3 cup seasoned bread crumbs
- 1/4 cup milk
- Salt & Pepper
Start off your soup by bringing the water and chicken broth to a low boil. In the meantime take the slice of bread and place it in a bowl and pour the milk on top and set aside.
In a large mixing bowl put all of the remaining meatball ingredients inside and mix thoroughly using your hands. Once the bread has absorbed all of the milk mix the bread into the chopped meat as well.
Now comes the fun part. Start rolling out teeny tiny meatballs, I made mine approximately quarter size but traditionally they are even smaller than that. Heat up some oil in a frying pan and brown the meatballs slightly on all sides. You can opt to skip this step and put them right into the broth to cook but I like them this way.
I even had two frying pans going at once to speed up the process....
After the meatballs are all browned, put them on a plate lined with a paper towel to absorb any excess oil and set aside and can I just say how delicious do these look?
At this point the stock should have come to a low boil so you can go ahead and add in the spinach, onions and garlic. You can also opt to add in some carrots and celery too but I'm not a fan of either so I chose not to.
Let the veggies cook down in the broth for about 10 minutes and then add in your pasta and meatballs. Once the pasta is fully cooked (about 10 minutes) the soup is all ready to enjoy.
Sprinkle a little grated cheese on top and dig in!