The logic behind trying this recipe in the very amateur test kitchen of Full Fork Ahead isn’t a complicated one. It’s getting cool out there, friends. Soon it will actually be cold. Well, maybe for you. For us here in the South it will likely still just be cool. But that’s reason enough for us. Did it hit 52 degrees at one a.m. last night? Whoa, buddy, prepare yourselves, cuz the soup – it. is. ON. Oh yeah, craziness, right here.
I can’t remember why we didn’t do an ingredient shot this time. I can only guess that the usual thrill of posing raw, unopened ingredients just wasn’t there that day. So have a shot of ground chicken and turkey sausage laying atop the other meatball ingredients instead. Everyone loves a sausage shot, right? You’re welcome.
Anyway, yes, this soup is labeled quick and easy and you’re making homemade meatballs. Crazy, right? They are so very delish, I cannot even begin to describe just how much.
Now, flavors will vary due to what sausage you use, just keep that in mind. Ours came out DELISH, though.
Uncooked balls of meat and cheese and bread crumbs – who doesn’t want in on this? Am I right? YES. Yes, I am. They look a little disheveled. Doesn’t matter. What matters is their deliciousness.
I do not know why it looks like they slid around on the sheet pan while baking. My oven’s not telling me something, methinks. Meatball Macarena Hour, maybe?
After your delicious balls of meat are done, it’s time to chop up the holy trinity of North American soups: onion, carrots and celery. In the name of the celery, the onion and the holy carrot, we bless this soup. Proceed, for now it shall be even better. Go in tastiness. Oh, and figure in some dill, yo.
Get a big ‘ole soup pot – a for serious soup pot – and saute those holy veggies till tenderness is their name.
Add a lot of liquid splendor, also known as boxed chicken stock. Drop those awesome meatballs into it.
Let’s look at something for a sec – why do so many soups says stuff like “preferably homemade” next to the broth/stock ingredient? Look, I don’t have time to make homemade stock unless I’m taking a few personal days before, during or after Thanksgiving and maybe Christmas. Let’s just embrace the tasty boxed variety for a quick, lovely weekday meal, m’kay?
That’s the point of this recipe, by the way. It’s fast and it’s delicious. If you already have the homemade variety, power to you and I’m not jealous at all (read, maybe a little), but boxed works here. It’s works real well. Especially if it’s low sodium and no MSG added.
Don’t forget the dill! I actually wasn’t sure I’d like the dill in this, it seemed an odd choice. Truthfully, I think you could use it or whatever else is your favorite herb. I’m a thyme girl myself, so I’ll probably use that next…time (harhar, sorry), but rosemary would work, too, chopped very fine. The dill was pretty good, though. Surprised me!
Did I happen to mention yet how easy and fast it is to make this soup? The meatballs are where the work is at, but they take very little time to assemble and bake, actually. The veggies can be sauteing while the meatballs bake and then you literally just pour in your stock, add the meatballs, stir, adjust your seasonings and you’ve made soup. You’ve just made your cool/chilly/almost cool/chilly day complete! All you need is some yummy bread to accompany it and you’re set.
Soup’s on! Enjoy.
Italian Wedding Soup
from Barefoot Contessa
Prep Time: 15 minutes Cook Time: 40 minutes Level: easy Serves: 6-8
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
- ¼ cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese
- ¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, 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 ¼-inch diced carrots (3 carrots)
- ¾ cup (¼-inch diced celery (2 stalks)
- 10 cups homemade chicken stock (boxed worked fine for us)
- ½ cup dry white wine
- 1 cup small pasta such as tubetini or stars
- ¼ cup minced fresh dill
- 12 ounces baby spinach, washed and trimmed
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
For the meatballs, place the ground chicken, sausage, bread crumbs, garlic, parsley, Pecorino, Parmesan, milk, egg, 1 teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper in a bowl and combine gently with a fork. With a teaspoon, drop 1- to 1¼-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 sauté 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 cheese.
Not much else to add except that we couldn’t find uncooked chicken sausage, so we substituted Italian turkey sausage. It worked great!
Oh, the breadcrumbs – we just used a mini food prep machine to make some out of fresh bread this time as opposed to store-bought dried crumbs.