Sunday dinner for four: Italian wedding soup

For the second weekend in a row, the four of us made meatballs.  Last week it was pork meatball banh mi, from this month's Bon Appetit, which in our hunger we totally forgot to document.  This week I made an Italian wedding soup adapted from both Giada de Laurentiis and Ina Garten's recipes.  I am not positive, but I'm pretty sure my version married the best of both worlds, pardon the pun.  I really liked how flavorful the meatballs were after browning in the oven - much better than they would have been just cooking in the soup directly.

The ingredients go something like this:

For the meatballs:
  • 1-1.25 lbs. ground meat (I used a mixture of 1/2 lb. ground pork, 1/2 lb raw hot Italian pork sausage, and about a 1/4 lb. chicken sausage, all casings removed).
  • 1/2 large onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/3 c. Italian flat-leaf parsley
  • 2/3 c. white bread crumbs
  • 1/2 c. grated parmesan (for best results, get a block of aged parmesan and process it yourself)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 tsp salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Process onion, garlic, and parsley until minced.  Hand mix ground meat with grated parmesan cheese.  Add onion mixture, bread crumbs, egg, salt and pepper.  Combine well but don't overmix.  Line baking sheet with parchment paper and roll meatballs, about 1-1.5 in. in diameter (they don't have to be perfect).  Bake for 30 min. or until meatballs are nicely browned and cooked through.

For the soup:
  • 1/2 large onion, chopped
  • 3/4 c. celery (about 2-3 stalks), chopped
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 10 c. low sodium chicken stock (preferably homemade)
  • 1 c. pressed barley (Ina Garten called for pasta but we thought this was healthier)
  • 3/4 - 1 lb. leafy vegetables (we used escarole and baby spinach)
  • 1-2 eggs, beaten
Cook onions and celery in olive oil over medium-low heat until translucent (do not brown), about 5-10 min.  Add chicken stock and bring to a boil.  Add barley and cook until ready (about 15-20 min depending on how "done" you like it).  Add veggies and cook until just barely wilted, about 1-2 mins.  Add beaten eggs into soup, the way you would make egg-drop soup.  Finally, add cooked meatballs and stir until flavors are blended.  Serve immediately.

Hearty, delicious, and perfect for cold weather!  And, it was surprisingly easy to make.  We also had a caprese salad (burrata, heirloom tomatoes, olive oil, balsamic, prosciutto) on the side and ollalieberry pie for dessert.
16 responses
looks nice :)
When you say, the ingredients go something like this:, does it just come out like that?? :)
@Maria Thanks =)
@Eric hmm what do you mean? I guess I've reached that point in my cooking where I don't always measure things exactly, and sort of throw them together based on what I have in my fridge and how things look as they are coming along in the pot. So the ingredients I list are just guidelines; anyone trying to recreate this dish should definitely be using their own intuition also!
I cook without proper measurements too, but I can never write out
recipes like you! Cool! :)
amazing!! =)
I love when people post recipes on posterous. I've only done two, but I love reading them and seeing the slideshows :)
@Mat glad you enjoy it! I can't wait for Garry and Sachin to release "channels" so you can see all the recipes posted to posterous.
Wow that looks really good! I love most anything with pork inside of it. Thanks for tonights dinner!
@Utah Thanks!  It was certainly yummy =)
Awesome, been looking for a good Italian Wedding Soup. Hope I found it!
@Ari cool, hope you like the recipe!
Thanks so much for the post, quite helpful piece of writing.
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