Italian Wedding Soup
Oven: 375 degrees F
Yield: 8 Servings
Ingredients for Soup:
3 dozen 1-inch meatballs, ½ portion of meatball recipe, half baked
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup diced carrots (3 carrots)
1 cup diced celery (3 stalks)
1 cup diced onion (1 medium)
1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1 teaspoon parsley
1 teaspoon sage
1 teaspoon thyme
12 cups homemade or low-sodium chicken broth
End piece of Parmigiano Reggiano (optional): see notes
½ cup Orzo pasta
1 head (16 ounces) escarole, cleaned and rough chopped
3 tablespoons Parmigiano Reggiano
Directions for Soup:
Using ½ of meatball recipe, make approximately 3 dozen 1-inch meatballs and bake at 375 degrees F for approximately 6-8 minutes or until half baked. The meatballs will finish cooking in the soup.
While the meatballs are baking, heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat and add mirepoix (carrots, celery & onion). Sauté for approximately 10 minutes until softened and stir in salt, pepper, parsley, sage, and thyme.
Add chicken broth and bring to a boil, add Orzo pasta, reduce heat and simmer over medium heat for 6-8 minutes until pasta is tender.
Add escarole, meatballs and end piece of Parmigiano cheese and simmer for approximately 15 minutes, until the meatballs and escarole are cooked.
Stir in Parmigiano Reggiano and adjust seasoning, for salt and/or pepper
- Mirepoix (combination of diced carrots, celery & onions) is the base for many stocks, stews, soups and sauces. I use it regularly in my cooking and depending upon the dish, often add garlic and some aromatics, making it more of an Italian soffritto.
- Meeting with a Good End: I grind my own hard cheeses and save all the ends in a plastic bag in the freezer. I usually throw an end piece into my soups, which serves as a slight thickener and adds creaminess. Be aware that what remains at the end should be removed before serving…there have been occasions when a guest has pulled a congealed lump from their dish and asked me to identify it.