Recipe: Italian Wedding Soup

Work has been busy lately as we are in the midst of moving the office to a new location next month, in addition to hiring two new full-time staff that are currently in training. As well, I am attending an evening class every Monday after work, so with everything going on at work, I feel a little mentally exhausted.

Since dining at Scaddabush, I have been craving for Italian wedding soup. Surprisingly, it is not a soup that is typically served in weddings, but the name is to describe the “marriage” of vegetables, meat and flavour in a bowl of delicious soup.

During stressful times like this, making homemade soup is not only satisfying, but also therapeutic.

Italianweddingsoup02While shopping for ingredients, I could not find any Acini de Pepe pasta, the little pearly pastas that are commonly found in Italian wedding soups so instead, I opted for orzo. As well, many recipes I’ve found had included cheese in the meatballs, but I’ve chose to omit it in mine. I did buy a small block of Parmesan in case any one in my family wanted to add cheese to their soup.

Meatball ingredients:
– 1 pound ground beef (I used 70% lean ground beef)
– 1/2 cup onion, diced
– 1 clove garlic, minced
– 1 tsp sea salt
– 1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
– 1 tsp dried basil
– 1 tbsp flat leaf parsley, chopped
– 1 egg

Soup ingredients:
– 2 tbsp olive oil
– 1 cup onion, diced
– 1 cup carrot, peeled and diced.
– 1 clove garlic
– 3 litres chicken broth
– 1/2 cup orzo
– 1 pound fresh spinach, chopped
– Salt and pepper to taste

Directions (for meatballs, which can be prepared in advanced):

Italianweddingsoup011. In a large bowl, mix together ground, diced onions, salt, bread crumbs, dried basil, parsley and egg.

2. Gather a small amount of the meat mixture and roll into meatballs that are roughly 1/2 inch in diameter. Place in a tray and refrigerate to allow meatballs to set (if you are using it same day), or freeze until ready to use.

Directions (for soup):

Italianweddingsoup031. In a large pot, add olive oil, diced onions, carrots and garlic. Stir until carrots are tender.

2. Add chicken broth and bring it to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer.

3. Add salt and pepper to taste.

4. Add meatballs into broth, allow it to cook for 10 minutes.

5. Add the orzo and cook it for 5 minutes.

Italianweddingsoup046. Add spinach then cover pot to allow everything to cook for about 10 minutes.

Italianweddingsoup057. Serve! Grate Parmesan in a bowl of soup if you wish.

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