If I Were Italian

Let’s see…Well first, I suppose, I might have long, luxuriously thick dark hair.

And beautiful, glowing olive skin. Maybe I’d be thin. And leggy.

Yes!

I’d be fiery, mysterious, and sultry. I’d have the most glorious accent- I’d sing opera!!

But wait. I’m not Italian. Not even a tiny bit. I haven’t even watched The Godfather in it’s entirety, for Pete’s sake.

My hair’s pretty thick, but all those other things? Nada. Or should I say niente?

My point is, though, If I were Italian I’d want this soup served at my wedding. Or at someone’s wedding. Or maybe at breakfast.

More to the point (Italian or not) you’re just going to want to eat this. At a wedding, or just on a Tuesday.

Whichever comes first. It truly is so, so good.

At first glance it looks like a lot of ingredients, but it’s really not. And wanna know a secret? If you’re a hesitant cook and not particularly confident in your skills? Soup is definitely a forgiving recipe to start (and end!) with. There are seriously all kinds of tweaks you can make. Adjustments and substitution possibilities abound.

Last, let me take an opportunity again to encourage you all to go out and buy these if you haven’t already.

This stuff is the absolute best for adding all day long, slow-cooked flavor and goodness to so many things. I use it all the time. I promise you’ll thank me!

Here’s my recipe- Whether you’re fancy and Italian, or if you’re like me and your people just wandered over from Alabama, I hope you make it soon!

Italian Wedding Soup

Luann at Hobnob Kitchen

Ingredients

For the meatballs:

1 pound bulk Italian sausage (sweet)

1 pound ground chuck

2/3 cup breadcrumbs ( I use Progresso)

2 teaspoons minced garlic (2 cloves)

3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves

1/3 cup freshly grated parmesan

3 tablespoons milk

1 extra-large egg, lightly beaten

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the soup:

2 tablespoons olive oil

3/4c- 1 cup minced onion

1 cup diced carrots (about 3 carrots)

3/4 cup diced celery (2 stalks)

1T. Better than Bouillon Chicken Base flavor (I use the reduced sodium version)

1 t. Better than Bouillon Garlic Base flavor

6-8 cups chicken stock

1 cup white wine

1 cup orzo

1/4 cup minced fresh dill or 1 T. dried dill

8-10 ounces baby spinach, washed and stems removed

Directions

  1. For the meatballs, place the ground chuck, sausage, bread crumbs, garlic, parsley,  Parmesan, milk, egg, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a bowl and combine gently with clean hands. Measuring with a small cookie scoop roll 1 to 1 1/4-inch meatballs and panfry for around 5-6 minutes or until brown on all sides. Drain on paper towels.(You should have about 40 meatballs. (They don’t have to be perfectly round.)

Note: If  you’d prefer, form the meatballs, place on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes until cooked through and lightly browned. Set aside.

  • Meanwhile, 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 both flavors of the Better than Bouillon 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 and then 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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