*This soup is slightly more rich than I would prefer, but it is soooo good and very filling. Like the title of the soup describes, it is probably better for a special event or celebration. Its really good! I got it from 'food network', Ina Garten's 'Barefoot Contessa' show. Here is the link for the recipe. And I did cook it with the dry white wine (the alcohol burns off), but I don't really like the taste it brought, so you could leave that one out ;).
Making chicken stock is not too hard. With about 10 cups of water boil some chopped onions, carrots, celery, and a family size package of chicken (like the on sale $3 pack) legs/thighs/wings -roasted- (the bones add a lot of flavor) for about 45 minutes. Than, strain the broth and you have stock. You can reuse the leftover stuff a few more times to maximize its use (just add it to water and boil until you have your desired flavor of broth).
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 (*I used Italian parsley; I think that's what she intended...)
- 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 (*I, Amy, say this is optional. Even though the alcohol burns off, I still don't like the taste so much)
- 1 cup small pasta such as tubetini or stars
- 1/4 cup minced fresh dill
- 12 ounces baby spinach, washed and trimmed
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.