When my sisters and I were little tykes, my parents bravely took us out to dinner at an Italian restaurant in our hometown. I was the oldest and probably eight years old. When it came my time to order, I asked for plain spaghetti noodles. Taking my lead, siblings followed suit. My childhood palate was geared towards simple, even boring, foods. No doubt my parents had to pay a premium for four bowls of plain pasta!
Over time, I grew to love tomato sauce (or gravy depending on your locale), especially when it’s full of meatballs. I use any excuse to get meatballs on the menu! Meatball subs, spaghetti and meatballs and even soups filled with tiny, flavorful meatballs. This meatball-laden Italian wedding soup is a family favorite!
Easy to make and the perfect way to warm up on a chilly night, it doesn’t take long to get this soup on the table. I start by sautéing the onions, carrots and celery before adding store bought stock and seasonings. I like to make homemade meatballs, but if you have a favorite frozen brand, those would work fine. I also add some small pasta to make the soup a bit more filling, and stir in a bag of spinach as the final step. Pair this Italian wedding soup with some crusty rolls and a tossed salad, and dinner is served!
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup onion chopped
- 1 cup carrots chopped
- 1 cup celery chopped
- 1 teaspoon thyme
- ½ teaspoon poultry seasoning
- 2 quarts chicken broth
- ½ cup orzo
- 2 cups baby spinach
- 1 tbsp Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste (if your stock is salty, you may not need any additional salt)
- 1 pound ground beef
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup bread crumbs
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan
- 1 egg
Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in large stockpot. Sauté the minced onion till soft and translucent. Remove to medium bowl. Add the rest of the oil, then the chopped onion, celery and carrots to pan and cook till tender. Add stock and seasonings and let simmer.
Make meatballs by combining cooked minced onion, ground beef, salt, bread crumbs and egg. When well combined, make meatballs (1/2-1 inch in diameter). At this point you may sauté them or drop raw into simmering soup. Simmer till meat is cooked through. Add pasta and cook until done. Right before serving, stir in spinach till wilted.
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