My Version Of Italian Wedding Soup


There are days when it’s so cold outside that you feel like you might not make it from the car to your front door without obtaining a bit of frostbite.  These are the days that soup feels entirely perfect and comforting for dinner.  But can soup be considered a main dish?  When soup is placed on the table and my son and wife ask, “What’s for dinner?”  My response is, … some soups are meant to be main dishes.  This is one of them.”  And it is!  This soup is full of meatballs, pasta and vegetables.

1 lb of lean ground beef
1 egg beaten
4 cloves of garlic minced
2/3 cup of fresh bread crumbs
3 tbs of milk
1/2 cup of parmesan cheese
a dash of salt and pepper
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 cup minced onion
1 cup diced carrots (about 3 medium)
1 cup diced celery (about 2 large stalks)
10 cups chicken broth
1 32 oz of crushed tomatoes
1 cup small pasta (I use ditalini pasta)
1/4 cup minced fresh dill
1 frozed bag of spinach or kale (either works well)
extra Parmesan cheese, for serving
Prepare the meatballs:  Place ground beef, bread crumbs, garlic, parsley, Parmesan, milk, egg, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a bowl and combine gently with a fork. With a teaspoon, drop 1-inch meatballs onto a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. 
Prepare the soup:  Heat olive oil over medium-low heat in a large stock pot. Add onion, carrots, and celery and saute until softened, 5 to 6 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Add pasta to the simmering broth and cook an additional 6 to 8 minutes, until the pasta is tender. Add the fresh dill and then the meatballs to the soup and simmer for 1 minute. Taste for salt and pepper. Stir in spinach and cook for 1 minute, until spinach is just wilted. Ladle into soup bowls and sprinkle each serving with extra grated Parmesan cheese.

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