GDL’s Italian Wedding Soup

Italian wedding soup is one of those soups I think everyone can love.  It’s broth, meatballs, cheese, and a few greens.  What’s not to like?  I got this recipe from Giada de Laurentiis’ cookbook Giada’s Family Dinners.  I love her recipes.  I am actually thinking of taking a page out of the Julie & Julia movie and cooking my way through one of her cookbooks.  It’s a thought…

Italian Wedding Soup

Meatballs
1 small onion, grated (**Make sure to grate  your onion instead of chopping.  I chopped mine, because apparently I can’t read, and the meatballs looked like they had tumors all over.
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 large egg
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1/4 cup bread crumbs
8 ounces lean ground beef
8 ounces ground pork  (**I used 16 ounces ground turkey instead of the beef and pork and they were delish!)

Soup
10 cups reduced sodium chicken broth
1 pound escarole
2 large eggs
2/3 cup parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste

To make the meatballs, stir together onion, parsley, egg, garlic, salt and pepper in a large bowl.  Stir in the cheese and bread crumbs.  Using your hands, mix in the ground turkey.  Shape the mixture into 1-inch meatballs, making approximately 75 balls.  You will cook the meatballs in the broth, so just set them aside for now.

To make the soup, bring the broth to a boil in a large pot over medium-high heat.  Add the meatballs and escarole and simmer until the meatballs are cooked through and the escarole is tender, about 10 minutes.  In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs and cheese.  Add the egg mixture to the soup slowly, stirring with a fork to form thin strands of egg, about 1 minute.  Season the soup to taste with salt and pepper.  Lade the soup into bowls and serve.

**Cook’s Note:  A great way to test the flavor of the meatballs before cooking the entire batch is to fry one up in a frying pan.  I usually flatten one out to make the cooking time shorter and then taste it.  Remember to take into account the other flavors of the dish the meatballs will be joining once cooked. 

Also, these mini meatballs are great to make ahead and freeze.  Just bake them off in a 400* oven until cooked through.  Drain them on paper towels, then put on a baking sheet and freeze.  Make sure they are not touching each other, otherwise they will all stick together.

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