Italian Wedding Soup

[Printable Recipe]

Tis the season for greens! We got a beautiful bunch of escarole in our Greenling box last week, and when I think escarole, I think Italian wedding soup. There are so many different ways to make Italian wedding soup and you can really use any greens you want, but I think escarole has the structure to hold up nicely while hot (instead of wilting) and doesn’t overwhelm the other flavors in the soup.

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These meatballs were tender and the escarole still had firm structure and a nice bite. I’m not sure how I feel about the halved tomatoes though, and next time, I may dice them a bit.

Adapted from Whole Foods

Ingredients:
For the meatballs:

  • 1/2 lb. 90% lean ground beef
  • 1/4 lb. ground pork
  • 1/3 c. dried bread crumbs
  • 3 Tbsp. chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 3 Tbsp. grated parmesan
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped garlic
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 1 egg, beaten

For the soup:

  • 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 3/4 c. chopped white onions
  • 3/4 c. chopped carrots
  • 3/4 c. chopped celery
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped garlic
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 6 c. low-sodium chicken broth
  • 3 c. water
  • 28 oz. canned whole tomatoes, drained and halved
  • 1 c. uncooked orzo
  • 1 head of shredded escarole

Directions:

  • Combine the beef, pork, bread crumbs, parsley, parmesan, garlic, oregano, salt, pepper, and egg into a large bowl (hands work well for this).
  • With damp hands, shape the beef mixture into 1″ meatballs and transfer them to a large plate. Cover and refrigerate until ready to cook.
  • Melt the butter in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the onions, carrots, and celery with salt and pepper to taste and cook until translucent and fragrant, about 4 minutes.
  • Add the garlic and cook for an additional 2 minutes.
  • Stir in broth, tomatoes, and water. Cover and cook 10 minutes over medium heat or until soup comes to a boil.
  • Add the prepared meatballs and orzo to the boiling soup and stir to make sure they are fully submerged. Cover and simmer for another 15 minutes over medium heat.
  • Stir in escarole. Test a meatball to ensure that they are fully cooked. Adjust seasoning if necessary, then serve.

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