Sunday, March 15, 2009

Italian Wedding Soup

When I purchased Ina Garten's book, The Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics, this recipe was on the top of my list to try. I am definitely a huge soup fan, especially during the cold winter months. Now that we have some hope for warmer, spring weather, I have been trying to get some of my soups in before the weather does change. When shopping for ingredients, I had a hard time finding the chicken sausage and ground chicken that the recipe calls for. I did find some turkey Italian sausage and decided to give it a try instead. The amount in one package was exactly what the recipe called for, so I used only this instead of combining with regular ground turkey. I have never tried Ina's version, but I have to say that I was not at all disappointed with the way my meatballs turned out. They were delicious, if I do say so myself! The soup came together easily and was definitely one that I would make again. It reheated well through the week and I even had enough to send a container home to my mother.

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 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 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 (I didn't use quite as much)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. For the meatballs, place the ground chicken, sausage, bread crumbs, garlic, parsley, Romano, 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.

Source: Barefoot Contessa, Back to Basics


  1. Ina is one of my favorite cooks. I have all her books.. I havent tried this one yet. It looks outstanding. Illhave to try it. Wish I had a bowl now.

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