It is O F F I C I A L L Y that time of year when the weather has finally turned and overnight we pull out our sweaters and pack away the shorts. At least here in Texas!
So I am going to let you in on my little secret to keeping my family warm, healthy and super cozy this time of year.
ITALIAN WEDDING SOUP!
I didn’t grow up with this soup and neither did my husband. It wasn’t til we were married that my husband had a craving for wedding soup and I went to the internet to learn what it even was.
In our house, we share cooking responsibilities. I used to say my husband was the better cook and honestly, there are some things that he does better than ANYONE else. But in my mental health focus and development, I have come to actually accept that I myself am also a GREAT cook. I just am better at cooking different things than he is. My specialty in our house is soups. I have have a long list of requested soups and chilis that I found a knack for creating and truly enjoy the melding of flavors in one big pot!
Italian wedding soup is our go to soup because of how easy and homey it is. It is our families version of Campbell’s chick noodle soup if you will. When someone is sick – Italian wedding soup. When it drops below freezing outside – Italian wedding soup. When someone is home sick or needs a little comfort – you guessed it – Italian wedding soup.
WHAT YOU NEED
2 quarts chicken broth (homemade instructions below)
2 onions, chopped
1 bag large carrots, peeled and cut into discs
2 tablespoons olive oil
8 ounces Ancini de Pepe (or Pastina)
3 bunches spinach
1 batch turkey meatballs
Salt to taste
WHAT YOU NEED
1 pound ground turkey
1/4 cup of milk (we use Lactaid)
1/4 cup of Italian seasoned breadcrumbs (or more depending on how wet the mixture is)
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning or dried herbs
Salt and Pepper to taste
WHAT YOU DO
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and prepare a large baking sheet with aluminum foil (to reduce cleanup).
- Chop all veggies.
- In a dutch oven or large stock pot on medium heat add olive oil. Once oil is shiny and warmed through, add onions and carrots. Sprinkle with salt.
- Cook onions and carrots on medium heat until onions are transparent and almost browning or caramelizing.
- Add chicken broth, cover and cook on high. Bring to boil, then reduce heat to simmer.
- While you are waiting for the broth to boil, combine all meatball ingredients in a large bowl. Add more breadcrumbs if the mixture is too sticky.
- Roll mixture into small marble sized balls and place on baking sheet.
- Bake meatballs for 10-13 minutes.
- Once the meatballs are done and the chicken stock is simmering, add the pasta to the stock.
- Cook pasta for 8 minutes, then add meatballs.
- Cook pasta another 3-5 minutes or until pasta is al dente.
- Add spinach, stir, taste and season with additional salt if needed.
This soup is perfectly paired when sopped up with a garlic loaf! I can’t wait for you to try it and share your new favorite soup with your family!
We make our own C H I C K E N B R O T H. Before you go rolling your eyes – it is one of the easiest mom hacks!!
W H A T Y O U D O :
Buy a rotisserie chicken from your local grocer.
Remove all the meat and make tacos or whatever your heart desires.
Put the bones and any additional pieces in a pot and cover with water.
Bring to boil, uncovered and let reduce to half.
Add water to fill the pot again.
Reduce to half.
Using a colander, strain the bones, leaving you a beautiful broth.
Use right away or freeze for later!!
When freezing, we save the plastic containers from the deli meat we purchase. Containers are stack-able and the perfect amount to pull out 1 per person for a batch of soup.
Similarly, you can make the M E A T B A L L S ahead of time. Whether the night before and keep in the fridge or freeze them and keep for up to 6 weeks. To freeze the meatballs, I suggest you use a vacuum sealer. This one is our favorite (both great quality and cost effective!).
We are big meal preppers and these hacks help to make the week nights and long days super stress free!!
Lastly, you can make a L A R G E pot of soup and actually freeze the ready made soup. This is the B E S T way to completely replace the canned soup you have for emergencies. We pour the soup into the same deli meat containers I mentioned for the broth and freeze!