Ummmmmm.... What to say about this soup? It was neither my favorite, not my least favorite soup that we have ever made. I would say that it falls somewhere in the middle. It was good, but not great (or at least not as great as I had hoped it might be). The turkey meatballs smelled amazing while they were browning in the pan, but finishing them in the simmering broth seemed to remove a lot of their flavor rather than adding flavor. And the broth didn't seem to absorb much flavor from the meatballs either. The broth did pick up a little flavor from the escarole, but not much else. I must admit that the soup really improved once you dipped some bread into it. Then it was pretty tasty. But all things considered, I wish that we had just made Stracciatella instead - a lot less messy and labor intensive, but just as tasty.
Recipe after the jump!
Italian Wedding Soup
1 lb 1-inch turkey meatballs (we got ours from the farmers' market but you can make them yourself with whatever combination of grated cheese, bread crumbs, garlic and herbs you want)
3 tbsp evoo, divided
1 medium yellow onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
6 cups chicken stock
1 bunch escarole, trimmed and torn into bite-sized pieces (about 6 lightly packed cups)
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano, finely grated
In large nonstick skillet, heat 2 tbsp evoo over moderately high heat. Add the meatballs in batches, and cook, turning, until browned on the outside all over, 3 to 5 minutes. You don't need to cook them all the way through because they will cook more in the soup. Remove meatballs from the pan and set aside.
In a large heavy soup pot, heat the remaining 1 tbsp evoo over moderate heat. Add the onion saute, stirring occasionally for 3 minutes. Add garlic and saute until onions are tender and garlic is soft, but not browned, about 2 additional minutes. Add the stock and bring to a boil. Add the escarole and the orzo, reduce heat to simmer for 6 minutes. Add the meatballs and cook another 4 minutes.
Slow pour the lightly beaten egg into hot soup, stirring constantly. Stir in Parm-Reg. Simmer just until egg bits are set, about 1-2 minutes. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.