Friday, March 2, 2012

CJ's Italian Wedding Soup

I love soup. It is filling, warms you up, and just plain tasty.  It is a meal by itself or you can "make it all fancy" and have bread and salad with it.  Lately I have found myself cooking soup more often to save money on groceries, to stretch meals, because it is easy, and we have been BUSY.  I have been pretty motivated to save money on the grocery budget because whatever money is left in my grocery envelope at the end of the month, I get to move to my vacation fund envelope...woo hoo!  Soup is a great meal stretcher for our family of 4 because we usually fix one crock pot or stock pot of soup and it lasts for at least 1 main meal plus either lunch the next 2 days or another main meal the second night.  So anyway, one of my very favorite soups is Italian Wedding Soup.  It is so healthy and so filling.  I could eat it every day and I frequently make it and it is my lunch for an entire week...yep, that is how much I love it.  I really like the soup with the tiny little round noodle disks (I am sure there is a real name for the kind of pasta, but surprisingly being a pasta lover, I don't know what it is), but those little round disky thingamabobs (see there's the technical name) get to mushy and soggy for me and I don't eat over cooked mushy pasta.  Just the thought of over cooked, mushy pasta grosses me out something fierce.  I made over an Italian Wedding Soup recipe one day using what I had and here is what I have come up with...a bowl of warm, delicious, goodness.  :)  Warning:  My recipe is not exact because some things are just to taste...your taste and if that bugs you I am sorry, but I cook to taste, a lot.

CJ's Italian Wedding Soup
For the soup:
3 Tbsp. Chicken base (chicken bouillon) - feel free to use chicken stock too.
1 cup diced carrots
1/2 large diced onion
2 tsp. fresh grated ginger (buy a whole ginger root and store it in a bag in your freezer to keep it good, I always add a little bit to soups to give a kick to it and ginger is very healthy for you)
2 stalks of celery chopped
1 lb bag of fresh spinach leaves
Water to fill the stock pot (the amount will vary depending on the size pot you use)
Mini Farfalle noodles (again the amount is up to you depending on how many noodles you want in your soup)

For the meatballs:
1 lb. ground beef
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp. garlic salt
2 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
Grated Parmesan cheese (I will leave the amount up to you depending on how much you love cheese)
1 egg
1/3 c. bread crumbs

Extra Parmesan cheese for garnishing soup

1.  Fill the stock pot with water and add the chicken base (bouillon or stock).  Add the diced carrots, onion, celery, and ginger and bring to a boil.
2.  Meanwhile, mix all the ingredients for the meatballs and then roll into meatballs (the size of the meatballs depends on you - sometimes I roll out mini meatballs and sometimes I make quarter size meatballs).
3.  Drop the meatballs into the boiling soup and boil for 10-15 minutes.
4.  While the meatballs are cooking, I cook my pasta in a separate pan with a little chicken base in the water to help flavor the noodles.  I do this so I don't over cook my noodles, I can add the exact amount that each family member likes in their bowl, and if you leave the noodles in the soup (if there is any left) they absorb the broth and get mushy and soggy and just gross for leftovers.  It is a personal thing I guess, I just really can't handle overcooked pasta.
5.  In the last few minutes right before the pasta is done, I add the spinach to the meatball soup and let it wilt in.
6.  Once the spinach is wilted and noodles are done, drain your noodles if you cooked them separately and then I ladle a spoonful of noodles (or two) into each bowl.  Next I ladle the soup mixture over the noodles.  Then I top it with Parmesan cheese.  Enjoy!

1 comment:

  1. I love italian wedding soup, thanks for this recipe i will be putting this on my March dinner menu.


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