The Pioneer Woman Tasty Kitchen
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Italian Wedding Soup

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Level: Easy

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Description

This is my Calabrian grandmother’s version of Italian wedding soup. It’s sublime comfort food!

Ingredients

  • FOR THE SOUP:
  • 1 whole 3-4 Pound Size Chicken, Cleaned, Giblets Removed And Cut Into Pieces
  • 4 quarts Cold Water
  • 3 whole Carrots, Roughly Chopped
  • 2 whole Celery Stalks, Roughly Chopped
  • 1 whole Yellow Or White Onion, Roughly Chopped
  • 1 pound Escarole, Washed And Coarsely Chopped
  • Salt And Pepper, to taste
  • 8 ounces, weight Soup Pasta, Such As Acini Di Pepe, Orzo, Etc.
  • FOR THE MEATBALLS:
  • 12 ounces, weight Lean Ground Beef (95% Lean)
  • ⅓ cups Seasoned Breadcrumbs
  • 2 Tablespoons Grated Parmesan Or Pecorino Cheese
  • 1 whole Egg, Lightly Beaten
  • ½ teaspoons Garlic Powder
  • ½ teaspoons Dried Parsley
  • Salt And Pepper

Preparation

Remove skin and fat from chicken pieces and rinse under cold water. Place in a large pot (see note below about pot size) with 4 quarts water and bring to a boil, skimming the foam off of the surface. Once boiling, reduce heat and cover. Let it simmer for 1.5 hours.

While it’s going, make the meatballs (recipe below).

After 1.5 hours, remove chicken from the broth and let chicken cool slightly. Add vegetables (carrots, celery, onion, escarole) to pot, cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes. Remove chicken from bones and chop or shred into bite size pieces. After 15-20 minutes of simmering add meatballs (recipe below) and chicken to pot. Simmer another 15-20 minutes or until meatballs are cooked. Season to taste.

Bring another pot of water to a boil and cook pasta according to package directions. When it’s done drain off the water and add pasta to soup. Ladle into bowls and serve topped with grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano. I like it with fresh Italian bread.

Notes: You need a big pot for this. I have a 7.25 quart Dutch oven that I use that works perfectly. A 6 quart would probably work as well, although it will be full! Leftovers freeze and reheat well, but the escarole can get a little limp after being frozen.

For the meatballs:
In a large bowl mix all meatball ingredients thoroughly (by hand is best) then roll into 1/2 – 3/4 inch balls. Set aside until you are ready to add them to the soup.

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