Back to Eric, in his honor today I thought I'd post this soup recipe he told me about. He had it at an in-laws home a while back, and has just been raving about it. He swears it is the best soup on the planet. I'll have to admit it was really tasty. It comes from Ina Garten. I love her! Maybe it's the fact that she is such a plump cheerful lady, and I've decided she loves food. She has the best recipes. Some of my all time favorites come from her. The recipes are usually really straight forward, and unassuming. I really need to post her Macaroons. Chocolate dipped to be exact. To die for!! The Italian Wedding Soup is wonderful. It is a very pretty soup to serve and it's not heavy. You can eat it year round. You can always use store bought meatballs, but the homemade ones were yummy.
Good luck Eric, and Congratulations on finally becoming a real person. Now on to the rest of your life:)
Italian Wedding Soup
For the meatballs:
3/4 pound ground chicken (I used all turkey sausage)
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 Pecorino 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 good 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 (a must!!)
12 ounces baby spinach, washed and trimmed (I used Kale)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
For the meatballs, place the ground chicken, sausage, bread crumbs, garlic, parsley, Pecorino, 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.