Thursday, November 4, 2010

Italian Wedding Soup

The soup in all its close-up glory.

The weather here has been very strange lately, and it seems every time I put the flannel sheets on the bed in preparation for cold weather, it heats up beyond belief.  You never quite know what to expect when planning meals because it could be hot, hot, hot during the day, but cool down considerably at night.  Shouldn't it just be cold, wet, and rainy in November?  Can't I just put away the shorts and t-shirts and bring out the coats, sweaters, and umbrellas?  Guess not.  The following recipe finds a perfect balance - a soup that isn't so stewy that you would regret making it if it turned out to be hotter than you expected, and at the same time would still warm and satisfy you if it got really chilly.  Like many of the recipes featured on my blog, it is an adaptation from an original recipe.  In this case, the original came from Ina Garten (The Barefoot Contessa) here.

I got about 25 meatballs out of my mixture at this size.


3/4 pound ground turkey
1/2 pound hot Italian sausage, removed from casings
2/3 cup fresh white bread crumbs (from 2 slices white bread pulsed in food processor)
2 minced garlic cloves
3 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
3 tablespoons half & half
1 egg
Kosher salt & pepper

Olive Oil
1 cup diced yellow onion
1/2 cup diced carrots
1/2 cup diced celery
10 cups chicken stock or broth
1/2 cup white wine
1 cup small pasta (I used mini bowties)
1/4 cup minced fresh dill
12 ounces baby spinach


Preheat your oven to 350F.

To make the meatballs, combine ground turkey through egg, plus 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in the bowl of an electric mixer.  (Some chefs may cringe at the fact that I made my meatballs in a mixer because it should be done by hand for a lighter, less dense meatball, but honestly, it saves me the time and mess or doing it by hand and mixes it really well, and I don't notice a HUGE difference if I do it by hand or with a fork.  Do it however you please, this is just my preference.  If I was at work and had foodhandler gloves handy, I'd probably just do it by hand, but at home, I tend to use my mixer).   After the mixture is well-combined, form into 1 to 1-1/4 inch meatballs and place on a parchment-lined or well-greased baking sheet.  Bake for 30 minutes, until thoroughly cooked and lightly browned.  Set aside for use later.

For the soup, heat enough olive oil to coat the bottom of a large soup pot.  Add the onions, carrot, and celery and saute until softened.  In this case, you just want the veggies to "sweat," not caramelize.  Keep your burner at medium-low and let them cook gently.  Once softened, add the stock and wine and bring to a boil.  Add the pasta to the boiling broth and cook until the pasta is tender (all pasta will vary, check periodically for doneness).  Add the dill and the meatballs and simmer briefly, then taste for seasoning.  Stir in the spinach, in batches if necessary, until just wilted, then serve.  Garnish with fresh parsley and/or dill, and Parmesan cheese if desired.

How romantic!  :)  I also made scallion biscuits and a simple green salad to go with the soup.  Such a nice meal...


  1. Aaron,

    This looks fabulous! I love that you are back in blogging action! BTW, have you stopped by the old kitchen lately? It is a Thai restaurant. Yah, for real =)

  2. I think I need to tell my boyfriend to up his cooking game after seeing the food you make, haha.

    Regarding envelope templates as such, I unfolded an envelope that was a good size some time ago (fits a bundle of postcards and miscellanea) and traced it onto some stiff cardboard and that's what I use for all of my envelopes, ha.

    The template is pretty bunged up now from lots of use and has lots of to-do lists on it from when I couldn't find anything else to write on, ha.

    I don't vary it at all - I should make all different sizes, it would be more fun. I used to just wing it and not use a template but the results weren't always grand.