I have always loved soups, even as a kid. There is something so comforting about a bowl of soup along with some crusty bread especially when it is cold outside. Since we live in Arizona and the weather is just plain hot for 9 month out of the year and the other 3 months don't offer too many cold days either I jump on every opportunity of bad weather I can get. Yesterday was one of those days; we had a high of 57 degrees F and best of all rain, lots of rain. Now what could be better soup weather then that.
I decided on making an old family favorite: Italian wedding soup which translates to minestra maritata ("married soup"). The literal term does not mean that the soup is being served at weddings but rather refers to the marriage of all the ingredients, meaning they go rather well together.
The hardest part of this soup is making the meatballs, everything else just falls into place. This is a good hardy soup with a lot of flavor. Hope you'll give it try.
Italian Wedding Soup
For the meatballs:
1 lb. lean ground beef
1/2 lb. ground pork
1/2 medium onion, grated
1/2 cup fresh Parmesan, grated
1 piece white bread, crust removed and torn into little pieces
1/3 cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
Black pepper to taste
For the soup:
2 medium stalks celery, chopped
2 medium carrots, chopped
6 cans (84 ounces) chicken broth
8 ounces Ditalini or other small pasta
2 cups packed baby spinach, cut in half
1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped
In a medium bowl combine, beef, pork, egg, onion, grated Parmesan, white bread, parsley, salt and pepper.
Mix well to distribute the ingredients evenly. Shape into 1/2 inch balls (this should make about 100 little meatballs). Set aside.
In a large pot bring the chicken broth to a boil. Add the celery, carrots, pasta and meatballs and return to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and cook for about 8 minutes. Add the spinach and parsley; cook for another 2 to 3 minutes or until pasta is al dente. Stir frequently to prevent sticking.
Serve with additional Parmesan and a crusty bread!