Friday, January 29, 2010

Italian Wedding Soup

Did you ever have one of those trips to the grocery store where nothing can go right? This was me on Sunday afternoon. My husband and I ventured out around 2pm on Sunday, which is the same time we go almost every weekend. Today, the grocery store was packed, though. There was also mayhem in the produce section. Someone had spilled something in every aisle: a giant bottle of salad dressing was broken by the peppers, blueberries rolled every which way by the potatoes, and something really slippery was all over the floor by the lettuce.

After we got out of the produce section from hell, my husband fought his way through the deli counter and I tried to pick up the rest of our food. Unfortunately, everyone in NJ must have decided to make the same meals as me this week. This is what I get for looking at the circular and buying the meats that were on sale. Anyway, the store was completely out of a few items that I needed to make the soup below, and the Stir Fry I'm going to make later this week.

All in all, I don't think it mattered. The soup was really good.

Italian Wedding Soup
adapted from Wegmans Menu Magazine (Fall 2009)

1 Wegmans Large Egg
1/2 lb Food You Feel Good About 85% Lean Ground Beef (I found a package of 95% lean beef and used that to make this a little healthier)
Half of 1/4 cup chopped dried Italian parsley (flat leaf)
2 Tbsp Italian Classics Seasoned Bread Crumbs
2 Tbsp Wegmans Basting olive Oil
1 pkg (8 oz) Food You Feel Good About Cleaned & Cut Mirepoix - The store was completely out of its mirepoix mix. Since this is just onions, carrots and celery chopped up, I chopped equal portions of all three in my food processor and used that instead.
1 carton (32 oz) Food You Feel Good About Chicken Culinary Stock
1/3 of 15 oz pkg Food You Feel Good About Fresh Chopped Escarole (about 2 cups)- I used three big handfuls which was probably more than 2 cups, but it made the soup heartier
1/2 cup Wegmans Acini di Pepe Pasta
Salt and pepper to taste
2 Tbsp Italian Classics Italian Blend Grated Cheese

Beat egg slightly in medium bowl; add ground beef, parsley, and bread crumbs. Mix well with clean hands. Form into small meatballs, using about 1 tsp ground beef mixture for each.

Brown meatballs on all sides in basting oil in braising pan on MEDIUM, about 5 min. Remove meatballs; drain off all but 1 Tbsp pan drippings.

Add mirepoix; reduce heat to MEDIUM-LOW. Cover; cook, stirring occasionally, 6-8 min, until veggies are soft but not browned.

Add meatballs and stock; bring to boil on HIGH. Lower heat to MEDIUM and simmer for 5 min. Add escarole; return to simmer on MEDIUM-HIGH. Add pasta; let simmer about 5 min until pasta is tender.

Season to taste with salt and pepper. Garnish each serving with grated cheese.

Servings: 7

Chef's Notes
As I said above, I had to make some substitutions. The store was out of fresh parsley and the mirepoix mix, so I improvised. The soup came out great, but I think the meatballs were just a little too big. Next time, I think I'll make them closer to bite-size. Most of them need to be broken in half to easily chew. The soup itself isn't extremely flavorful, so I think I'd also add in some garlic next time.

1 comment:

  1. Looks delicious! The cheese on the soup looks so tasty. I can't stand food shopping - although the Wegman's near us is really nice and it's about the only place I do like to shop!