Tuesday, May 13, 2014

My Big Fat Meatball Italian Wedding Soup

May is Mediterranean Diet Month and a big part of Mediterranean Cuisine is soups.  The term "wedding soup" is a mistranslation of the Italian language phrase "minestra maritata (married soup)," which is a reference to the fact that green vegetables and meats go well together. (from Wikipedia.com)

In our version of this soup we made the meatballs larger and used alphabet shaped pasta.  You can use any small pasta or even rice if you prefer.

Ingredients
My Big Fat Meatball Italian Wedding Soup

Meatballs:
1 small onion, chopped
1/3 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
1 large egg
1 tsp minced garlic
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
1 cup quick cooking oatmeal pureed in the food processor
1 lb ground beef
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Salt to taste

For the soup:
2 tablespoons STAR Original Garlic Olive Oil
1 cup yellow onion, chopped
1 cup baby carrots, sliced into coins
3/4 cup diced celery (2 stalks), cut into 1/4 inch pieces
10 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 cup small pasta such alphabet or star shaped
12 ounces baby spinach, washed and trimmed

Directions
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

To make the meatballs: Stir the first 6 ingredients in a large bowl to blend. Stir in the cheese, and the beef . Using a tablespoon, shape the meat mixture into meatballs. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 30 minutes, until cooked through and lightly browned. Set aside.

In the meantime, for the soup, heat the STAR Original Garlic 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 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.

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