Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Italian Wedding Soup

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.

Serve with bread and additional Parm-Reg for garnish.

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