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The outside temperature has plummeted and there are few meals better at fighting off a chill than a big bowl of heart-warming soup. One of our family’s favorites is Italian Wedding Soup. I start by making homemade chicken stock, then I add lots of delicious goodies like incredibly flavorful bite-size turkey meatballs, sauteed vegetables, fresh spinach and teeny tiny little pasta shapes. Yum—it’s so good.
To make the pasta:
Cook pasta in a pot of salted water until al dente (according to package instructions for al dente). Drain pasta and rinse it with cold water to stop the cooking process. Drizzle with a little extra virgin olive oil and stir to coat; set aside until needed.
To make the meatballs:
In a skillet over medium-high heat, saute the onions and a pinch of salt in olive oil until golden brown; stirring frequently. Add minced garlic and stir constantly until very fragrant, about 30-60 seconds. Remove from heat and allow to cool a bit before adding it into a large bowl with the remaining meatball ingredients. Mix well.
Preheat oven to 350 F. Form meat mixture into roughly eighty 1-inch meatballs (I use the #100 scoop) and place on a greased or parchment lined sheet pan. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove pan from oven and cool (no tasting at this point because they’re not quite cooked through yet).
To make the soup base:
Bring chicken stock to a gentle boil and add carrots, celery and partially baked meatballs. Cook for 10-15 minutes until carrots soften. Add chopped spinach and cook an additional 5 minutes.
Keep pasta and soup separate until serving so the pasta doesn’t get mushy. Place about 1/4 cup cooked pasta in a bowl and top with a hearty ladle or two of soup (8 meatballs per serving). Garnish with sliced scallions, chopped parsley, and/or grated Parmesan or Romano cheese if desired.
Note: Make a double batch and freeze some for a meal later. Simply freeze separately the chicken stock, precooked meatballs and precooked pasta drizzled with olive oil. When you need a quick meal, just heat everything up, add some sauteed carrots and celery, and chopped fresh spinach.
Perfect rainy day soup and quick enough for mid-week supper! Great as a first course or as an entree with a nice spring mix salad and some wonderful crusty bread. And don’t forget about the rest of the bottle of white wine.
Collards, black-eyed peas and smoky bacon make this delicious take on Hopping John soup.
Loaded with light and fresh flavors, Chicken Pho is a fun twist on the same-old-same-old bowl of chicken noodle soup. The broth is best made ahead of time, in either a slow cooker, or on the stove top. Then allow it to cool completely and skim off any congealed fat. The poached chicken and rice noodles can also be made ahead for time saving purposes.
Nancy is the Coupon Clipping Cook, which means she not only has an astounding number of recipes to share with us (her TK recipe box is busting at the seams!) but she's also got loads of money-saving tips in her blog (she worked at a grocery store for a number of years, so she knows her stuff). She has some pretty amazing creations, like Roasted Garlic Potato Soup and Nutty Coconut Chicken. Go check them out!
Heather is a Texas native and the blogger behind Heather's Dish. She's mom to Weston, wife to Nate, and they live in Little Rock, Arkansas with their two "stubborn and saucy" dogs Bunker and Keira. In her blog, she shares her photographs, random musings (serious and silly alike), and all kinds of scrumptious recipes---and not just evil variations of her favorite mac and cheese. Her enviable TK recipe box is a testament to that. Go see for yourself!