Italian Wedding Soup
I was in the mood for some good old fashioned vegetable soup with meatballs - the kind my grandma might have made. It’s one of those soups you’ll find throughout Europe from north to south, all with slightly different details but very close to this. This version is an Italian variant using half beef half pork meatballs, oregano and acini di pepe and popularly known as as ‘Wedding Soup’.
Ingredients (serves 3):
250g minced meat, 50% beef 50% pork
2 tablespoons fresh oregano, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
1/4 cup grated parmesan
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
50g spinach, roughly chopped
1 cup baby carrots, cut into 1/2 cm thick slices
1 medium-sized onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1.25L chicken broth
1/3 cup acini di pepe
2 tablespoons olive oil
1. Put the minced meat in a large bowl and add the oregano, parsley, breadcrumbs, parmesan, egg and salt and pepper. Mix with your hands to evenly distribute the ingredients through the meat.
2. Shape into meatballs about 2-3 cm in diameter and set aside on a plate.
3. In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil, then add the meatballs (don’t overcrowd them, make sure they’re not touching each other) and cook until lightly browned on all sides. NB: They shouldn’t be cooked through on the insides yet. When they’re done, set aside on a plate covered in paper towels to soak up the oil.
4. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a medium size soup pan. Add the celery, carrots and onions and stir over medium heat for about 6-8 minute until softened but not browned. Then add the garlic, and cook for another minute.
5. Add the chicken broth and bring to a simmer. Then add the meatballs and acini di pepe, cover with a lid and cook over medium-low heat for 8-10 minutes.
6. Add the chopped spinach for the last minute of cooking, then pour into bowls, top with some freshly grated parmesan and ground pepper, and serve hot.