Saturday, February 19, 2011

Italian Wedding Soup

Its a cold and rainy day today in SoCal. I was planning on grilling some burgers for dinner today in honor of the NBA All-Star weekend. But that's out of the question. So I thought to make something that will warm us up.

I remember finding this recipe for Italian Wedding Soup from What's Cookin' Chicago? one day. I figured now was a good time to give this a try. This soup called for tiny pasta to go with the tiny meatballs. So I used a Pastina pasta. It also called for different types of ground meat. Whenever a recipe calls for some type of ground meat, I almost always use ground turkey because I always have ground turkey.

This soup really hit the spot for me. It had a little kick from the red pepper flakes, but the heat didn't overpower the soup too much that it was even safe enough to feed my 2 1/2 year old daughter. She actually really liked this dish, especially because I used a tiny pasta, shaped into stars. She even ate the spinach in the soup.

2 slices sliced bread (I used wheat bread), torn to pieces
1/2 cup milk
1 egg yolk
2 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese
3 Tbsp. finely chopped parsley
3 medium garlic cloves, minced
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1 lb. ground turkey

1) Place milk and bread in a large bowl and mash together with a fork until smooth. Add the remaining ingredients, except ground turkey, and mash to combine. Add ground turkey and knead by hand until it's well combined.

2) Using a melon baller, scoop mixture and roll into uniform sized balls with damp hands. Place meatballs in a single layer on a baking sheet and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or overnight.

1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 medium garlic cloves, minced
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
3 quarts chicken broth
1 cup pastina pasta (or any other tiny pasta like orzo)
1 large bunch fresh spinach leaves, cleaned and roughly chopped
3 Tbsp. chopped parsley
salt & pepper to taste

1) Heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add garlic and red pepper flakes, cooking until it's fragrant (about 30 seconds). Add chicken broth and meatballs. Simmer until meatballs are almost halfway done. Add pasta and continue simmering until pasta and meatballs are cooked through. Stir in spinach and parsley. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot in a bowl. Drizzle olive oil over soup and top with grated Parmesan cheese before serving.

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