The soup insanity continues! We were in Dry Creek Valley this past weekend on Sunday for a wine event and they were serving Italian Wedding Soup paired with a Merlot and I pretty much fell in love! It was served by a catering company that did an amazing job and since Sunday (I know, it’s only been two days since!), I have been daydreaming about that soup. So, I re-created it last night and man oh man I’ve realized that I love this combination of fresh herbs, meat, and vegetable goodness.
This soup’s recipe calls for home-made chicken broth (I made some last night, simmering it for 4 hours), but if you’re in a rush, use organic chicken broth that is store bought. Although, when you DO have the time, definitely try this with house-made broth and you will see the depth of flavors is much more prominent in the latter. Also, another time-saving tip, if you don’t want to spend the half hour making the meatballs, just slice your chicken sausage into wedges and drop them into the soup along with the pasta to cook them. It’s not the ‘authentic’ way to eat Italian Wedding Soup, but it’s still delicious and knocks off about 30-40 minutes off of the preparation time of this recipe – making it a 10 minute recipe!!!
I love the meatballs and the broth and the dill all coming together in this beautifully harmonious soup. MMMmmmmmmm….! If you have kids, this is the perfect way to get them to get some veggies and protein in – low fat and healthy too!
Yields: 6-8 generous bowls
4-5 chicken sausage, casings removed (I used artichoke and garlic sausage sold by Aidell’s)
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/Parmesan
3 tablespoons milk
1 extra-large egg, lightly beaten
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup minced yellow onion
3/4 cup diced carrots
3/4 cup diced celery
7 cups homemade chicken stock
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 cup small pasta such as stars (I used arancini de pepe, which look like little dots of pasta)
1/4 cup minced fresh dill
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
For the meatballs, place the sausage, bread crumbs, garlic, parsley, cheese, milk, egg, Kosher salt and pepper in food processor and pulse until well-combined. With a teaspoon or cookie scoop, drop 1 to 1 1/4-inch meatballs onto a sheet pan lined with pam sprayed parchment paper. Drizzle the olive oil on top of the meat rounds to make sure they don’t dry out. Bake for 30 minutes, turning over once halfway through, 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 (in my opinion, the secret all-star of this recipe), butter, and then the meatballs to the soup and simmer for 1 minute. Taste for salt and pepper and adjust per your taste.
Ladle into soup bowls and sprinkle each serving with extra grated Parmesan. Serve hot!