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Week 5: Italian Wedding Soup

Category Soups
This week's recipe is perfect for a snowy afternoon. Italian Wedding soup can be made with a variety of ingredients but usually has a base of meatballs, pasta and escarole, a bitter leafy green. If you can't find escarole, try substituting with kale, spinach or another bitter green.
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Tiny meatballs, chicken broth, escarole and more in this old-time recipe from my husband's grandmother. Serve soup with grated Parmesan to sprinkle on top. Make a big batch - it freezes well!

Total Time: 1 hour

Yield: 8 servings

Source: My husband's Grandmother, Esther

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 lb lean ground beef
  • 1 egg
  • 2 Tbsp fine dry bread crumbs
  • 1 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
  • 6 to 10 basil leaves, chopped fine (or 1/2 tsp. dried)
  • 2 Tbsp finely chopped onion (or 1/2 tsp. onion powder)
  • 12 cups chicken broth (or two 46 oz. cans)
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped carrot
  • 2 medium-size heads escarole, washed well and cut into 1/2 inch slices
  • 1/2 cup orzo or pastine (acini de pepe)
  • Grated Parmesan cheese to serve
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Steps:

  1. In a large pot, bring chicken broth to a boil. Meanwhile make the meatballs, chop the carrot and wash, slice and drain the escarole.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine meat, egg, bread crumbs, 1 Tbsp. Parmesan, basil and onion. Meat should be a little more "wet" than dry. Mix well. Roll meat into 1/2 inch (or smaller) balls and set on a plate.
  3. Add meatballs slowly to the chicken broth, stirring occasionally so they don't stick together. Cook for about 5 minutes. Add the carrot, then escarole and lower to a slow boil.
  4. When escarole is limp, add the orzo. Cook for about 10 minutes until the orzo is tender.

Note: Make the meatballs by pinching off small pieces. This is the time consuming part, the rest is a breeze. Esther said great pride was taken in making them very small! Wet hands make rolling them easier. TIP: Escarole is sandy. Make sure you wash well, drain and shake off excess water.

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Comments

January 25, 20141 found this helpful

It's been snowing and cold here all week so I decided to make this soup. I used 12 chicken boullion cubes and 12 cups water in a crockpot and a large can of turnip greens since I was too lazy to leave the house to buy escarole and it turned out great!

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I even added some zucchini cut small to get more veggies in us! This is a keeper!

Reply Was this helpful? 1
February 4, 20190 found this helpful

This looks so good. I've never made Italian Wedding soup like this one. Can't wait!

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
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