Sunday, December 11

Italian Wedding Soup

Sunday dinner has become an important part of our weekly routine, and it (almost) always seems to have a lot of Italian influence.  As a kid, I frequented my uncle's grandparents' house on Sundays.  There, I didn't get the normal Eastern European food that my own grandparents served.  Instead, we ate homemade meatballs and pasta... and I'll never forget how tasty it was!

Now that Erik and I are becoming family, his Italian roots have played a major role in our cooking.  For our first date, he made homemade sauce.  The night we got engaged, we had a home cooked Italian dinner, and most Sundays I find myself gravitating towards lasagna, or experimenting with some homemade gnocchi.

This afternoon, I tried out my own version of an Italian Wedding Soup.  (Modified for our animal-friendly taste-buds!)

  • olive oil
  • 3 carrots
  • 1 bunch celery
  • 2 medium onions
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/3 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • vegetable stock (I used 3 bouillon cubes for this pot)
  • Quorn vegetarian meatballs
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 box stelline pasta
  • 1/2 lb baby spinach

To start the base of the soup, saute the onion, garlic, carrots and celery in olive oil until they have sweat out their moisture.  Add the chopped basil, parsley, Parmesan, pasta and stock, then bring it to a boil.

Next, add the spinach (or escarole) and let the soup simmer for about an hour.   I've noticed that so many soup recipes just tell you to cook the soup for 30 minutes or so, but I don't think this is enough time to get all of the flavor out of the ingredients.  I actually let today's soup cook for over 2 hours.

Separately, I sauteed the veggie meatballs to keep them crispy on the outside.  Don't combine them until you're ready to serve the soup.

Voila!  Don't forget to top your bowl off with a generous portion of Parmesan, and enjoy some crusty bread!

How do you make your wedding soup?  Any major differences?

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