Renee's Kitchen Adventures: Easy Italian Wedding Soup

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Easy Italian Wedding Soup


Italian Wedding Soup is a soup I really enjoy.  It can be labor intensive though, making all those mini meatballs by hand.  A few weeks ago, I stumbled upon a product at the grocery store....Frozen Mini Meatballs.  I knew Italian Wedding Soup was going on the menu!


Using the frozen meatballs streamlines this classic recipe into a soup you can make in no time....even make on a weeknight!  I used Rosina Mini Meatballs in this recipe and they were great. They are the perfect size for this soup.  They are fully cooked so all you need to do is warm them through in the broth.  I have seen other brands out there though since my discovery a few weeks back, so feel free to use any brand you can find. 


This recipe is an original.  I chose to use Acini de Pepe pasta in this soup, but any kind of small shaped pasta will do.  I like the acini de pepe because they start out very small and grow very big, and they don't seem to get too soggy sitting around in the broth like some pasta can get.  I also replaced the traditional escarole with spinach because spinach cooks up in minutes.

To say it's been a little cold the past few days, would be a total understatement!  Thanks to the Polar Vortex, most of us are still having or just climbing out of soup weather, so why not give this easy soup a try?  It will warm you from the inside out!



Easy Italian Wedding Soup


Servings - approx. 24    Serving Size - approx. 1 cup   Points Plus per Serving - 2 Points+
Calories - 97.9,   Total Fat - 4.4g,   Carbs - 8.5g,   Protein - 4.7g,   Fiber - 1.3g

Ingredients:

1 TBS Olive oil
1/2 cup diced onion
1 cup diced celery
1 cup diced carrot
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp. dried basil
12 cups fat free, low sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup white wine (any kind you like) 
1 lb. Frozen Mini Meatballs (I used Rosina brand)
3/4 cup acini de pepe pasta (dry)
10 oz. fresh baby spinach, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
juice of 1/2 lemon (optional)
salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:
  1. In a large stock pot, heat the oil on med/high heat until it begins to shimmer.  Add in the onion, celery and carrots.  Cook until they begin to soften, approx 5-6 minutes.  Add in the garlic and allow to cook for another minute or so until it becomes fragrant. ( I do season the veg at this point with salt and pepper, but it's your choice when and how much you add those seasonings) 
  2. Add the dried basil to the vegetables and stir.  Allow to cook for another 1-2 minutes.  Add in the chicken broth.  Let the soup come to a boil and then turn down to simmer.  
  3. Add in the wine and allow the mixture to come back up to simmer.  
  4. Add in the frozen meatballs and stir.  Allow the meatballs to heat through and the soup to come back up to a simmer.  Turn heat up just a bit, so the soup comes to a gentle boil.  
  5. Add in the acini de pepe.  Cook at a gentle boil until the pasta is tender, approx. 15-20 minutes, while occasionally stirring. 
  6. When the pasta is tender, turn the soup back down to a simmer and add in the spinach and the Parmesan cheese.  Stir well.  Cook until spinach is wilted.  (1 - 2 minutes)  
  7. Add in the lemon juice, if using.  Test for salt and pepper, and add as you like.  Serve immediately.  
*as the soup sits, the acini de pepe will continue to absorb the broth and grow bigger and more tender.

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The family gave this soup 2 thumbs up.  As I mentioned, if you have leftovers, you will find the pasta will absorb quite a bit of the broth.  You can reduce the amount of pasta you use in the recipe if you like, or add more broth when reheating.  You can also adjust the seasonings and the cheese as you like.  I really didn't measure, so the amounts given are more of a guideline than anything.  I did use the given amounts of pasta, meatballs, and spinach when I made it.  

As you might have seen on Facebook, I have been fighting some sort of bug now for almost a week and a half, hence the lack of posts.  I am finally starting to feel better...so hopefully I am on the mend and will be able to post more recipes for the new year!!  

Aside from the illness, my holidays were good...but so busy this year!  I hope you all had great ones yourself.  I'll be honest, I'm a little worried about the upcoming year because of being sick, I was not able to partake in the traditional eating of pork for prosperity in the new year!  haha  Fingers crossed, I won't be cursed!

This post is being shared with:
Wine'd Down Wednesday Link Party

6 comments:

  1. Oh no! I'm so glad you're feeling better. Soup always seems to do the trick! When I make meatballs, I try to make extra to freeze so I can make this soup! Its definitely one of our favorites

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    Replies
    1. that's a great idea about freezing the extra meatballs!

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  2. Mmm, I love Italian wedding soup and I never make it because of the work factor. Who knew about frozen mini meatballs? That's wonderful! They would be great in some homemade spaghettios, too.

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    Replies
    1. I really liked the Rosina brand ones. Very tender and tasty. You are right, they would be perfect in homemade spaghettios!

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  3. Looks like a nice easy soup recipe Renee. Sorry you have been sick - what a terrible way to start the new year. Hope you are back to normal real soon. Happy New Year!

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  4. I've heard of so many people being sick over the holidays, especially New Year's! Glad you are feeling better, and since I really don't like making meatballs (or anything that has to be rolled!) I will be on the lookout for the mini meatballs. This soup has been on my mind recently, so I need to make it soon. Your lemon chicken soup with orzo has become a favorite of mine, my sister AND my dad! I don't know if I commented and told you it was one of the only things he enjoyed eating while going through chemo (4 years ago), so I am thankful for that post!

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