Sunday, January 31, 2010

Soup's on

After a weekend of eating, tonight it's soup for us. Our good friends Emily and Steve are making the same soup in St. Louis tonight (Emily, please post your thoughts!).

Kid sidebar: I gave Jack a handful of dried pasta and it's kept him busy for at least 15 minutes so far - he's been stirring and pouring it into different bowls with various spoons and measuring cups. It's a welcomed relief to Jeremy: Jack's previous activities this afternoon have been putting on my old make-up (he still has brown eye shadow streaked on his baby cheeks), walking around Flashdance-style in one of my pink tank tops and trying on my heels. (I implored him to try flats instead).

But I digress. 

We made Ina's Italian Wedding Soup with what we had in the house. I used whole wheat dried bread crumbs and whole wheat pasta, and it was fine and a tad bit healthier:

Barefoot Contessa, Back to Basics

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
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
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.

1 comment:

  1. This soup is a keeper! Jeremy was right, the meatballs are awesome! Several of ours never made it into the soup ;)

    I used panko instead of fresh white breadcrumbs, and fresh macaroni from our farm share for the pasta. This makes a ton of soup! I think the meatballs would make a great appetizer on their own - thanks for the recommendation!