As you know, I am on a quest to make my soups for my sister low in calories and sodium and big in flavor. So far, this has been the easiest to half the calories and cut the sodium.
Turkey Italian Sausage is often available at my local grocery store. About 2 week ago, the butcher was putting it out and I asked if they had made it all into sausages yet. he said there was a little left. When I got home, I made 3 dozen tiny meatballs and stuck them in the freezer. I also picked up a chicken. when I stripped the bones, I threw them in a pot and made 1 and a half containers of stock and froze them.
Now I had my 10 cups of stock with no added salt.
Today I made the soup! First I diced some carrots and onion cooking them slowly in the oil until the onions were soft and transparent.
I then added the stock and cooked it at a slow simmer for 30 minutes. Then added the frozen meatballs. Once it had come back to a simmer, I let it cook for another 20 minutes.
When the meatballs were cooked, I added the spinach. I used frozen as I had some in the freezer, however I think a nice fresh bunch of spinach or escarole would be wonderful.
I added the pasta at the same time. I used bow ties as I could not find those cool little pasta balls that some restaurants have. I thought about heading out to an Italian market in Vancouver, but the traffic to get to the local store was awful and though of trying to get into Vancouver, well, lets say, I bought tiny bow ties.
The soup definitely needs salt to bring out the flavors, and once I added some, I must say it was delicious! And I added some grated Parmesan cheese. A nice slice of artisan onion bread for dunking rounded out a most excellent supper!
This soup is pretty simple to make. With frozen meatballs and spinach, and chicken stock from the store, this soup could be on the table in an hour!. I will definitely make this again.
In the picture there is the Italian Wedding and Hearty Vegetable (which I made at the same time) both of which my sister and brother-in-law will get at our Mother's Day Feast tomorrow!
Now here's the recipe:
Italian Wedding Soup
- 1/2 lb lean ground beef (or pork or turkey or chicken or sausage meat)
- 1 egg, slightly beaten
- 2 tablespoons breadcrumbs
- 1 tablespoon parmesan cheese
- 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 5 3/4 cups chicken broth
- 2 cups chopped escarole or 2 cups chopped spinach
- 1/2 cup pasta uncooked
- 1/3 cup finely chopped carrot
- 1/3 cup finely chopped onion
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1 Tbsp. canola oil
- grated parmesan cheese
- In medium bowl combine, meat, egg, bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, basil and onion powder; shape into balls.( I made mine about ½ teaspoon in size, but it is your preference).
- In large sauce pan, add the carrot, onion, garlic and oil.
- Cook until the onions are soft and transparent.
- Add the broth and bring to a boil, simmer for 15 minutes; add meatballs and simmer for 15 minutes.
- Return to boil; add spinach and pasta, reduce heat to medium.
- Simmer for 10 minutes or until the pasta is tender.
- Stir frequently to avoid sticking.
- Serve with additional Parmesan cheese sprinkled on top.