Comforting Italian Wedding Soup

November 2, 2011

Italian wedding soup is perfect for those blustery days when the wind is whistling and all you do is want to curl up on the couch.  This recipe call for a chicken bouillon cube to make the broth but if you can get your hands on really good chicken stock, preferably one you made yourself, it will make your soup dynamite.  Enjoy this comforting Italian wedding soup with a crusty piece of ciabatta bread.

Italian Wedding Soup

Ingredients:

3 pounds whole chicken broiler/fryer
3 stalks celery
3 mediums carrots
2 smalls onions
1 head escarole
1 teaspoon/cube chicken bouillon
1/2 pound meatloaf mix (ground pork, beef,)
1 large egg
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon grated Romano cheese, plus extra to garnish
 
Directions:
 
Place chicken in a Dutch oven, and cover with 4½ cups of water.
 
Add cut-up veggies (1 onion, 1 stalk of celery, 1 carrot ― all unpeeled, for added flavor).
 
Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
 
Bring to a boil, skim the foam, then cover and simmer for 45 minutes.
 
Cool about 10 minutes.
 
Drain the veggies out of the broth; discard the veggies and keep the broth.
 
Remove chicken meat from bone and cut up.
 
Skim fat from broth. Yield will be approximately 3 cups cut-up chicken and 3 cups broth.
 
Cook 1 cup of Acine de Pepe to “al dente” according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
 
Cut 2 stalks of celery, 2 medium carrots, and 1 small onion into bite-size pieces.
 
Clean one head of escarole and cook in a little water until wilted. Cool, squeeze out excess water, and cut up.
 
Begin preparing the meatballs by mixing together: meatloaf mix, bread crumbs, egg, ½ tsp. each of salt and pepper, dried parsley, garlic powder, and 1 T. grated cheese.
 
Begin compiling the soup by adding enough water to the broth to measure 5 cups.
 
Heat broth, celery, onion, carrots, and chicken bouillon to boiling.
 
Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until carrots are tender, about 15 minutes.
 
Stir in cut-up chicken.
 
Set back to boiling, add raw meatballs (¼ tsp. per meatball), and simmer another 10 minutes.
 
Add in cut-up escarole and cooked Acine de Pepe.
 
If soup is too thick, add two or three cans of chicken broth to thin out.
 
Serve immediately, sprinkled with a little grated Romano cheese.

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