Tuesday, September 8, 2009

A Classic: Italian Wedding Soup

I originally saw this recipe on food network.  Although it was called chicken noodle soup.  I switched it up a little and now call it my version of Italian Wedding soup!  It's hearty, satisfying and so easy to make.  The secret is letting the broth cook and develop its flavor before adding the tortellini.  
To make the meatballs:
1 pkg. of chicken sausage with cheese and tomato (I get it at Trader Joe's)
olive oil, salt, pepper
1 egg
3 cloves garlic
1/2 c. bread crumbs (eyeball it)
1/4 c. fresh parsley
3 tbl. romano cheese
3 tbl. parmesan cheese
take sausage from casing and crumble into food processor along with all the other ingredients and pulse until combined.  
In a non stick pan, heat up olive oil and butter and using a small ice-cream scoop make mini meatballs and add to pan.  brown on all sides.  Set aside.
To Make the soup:
2 celery stalks, chopped (I like the hearts and use the celery leaves)
2 carrots, chopped
1 onion, diced
4 cloves of garlic, minced
3 sprigs of fresh parsley
1 bay leaf
4 sprigs fresh thyme
1 sprig fresh oregano
red pepper flake
2 1/2 boxes low sodium chicken stock
salt, pepper, olive oil
1 1/2 pkgs. cheese tortellini
chopped fresh parsley for garnish
freshly grated parmesan cheese
1 slice of parmesan cheese rind
3-4 whole peppercorns
1/2 c. chardonnay
In a deep soup pan combine the celery, carrots, onion and garlic and saute until softened.  About 5 minutes.  Add pepper flakes, bay, sprigs of parsley, thyme, oregano and peppercorns and saute about 2 minutes further.
Add chardonnay and let reduce until all the liquid is absorbed.  Add the stock and cheese rind and season with salt and pepper to taste.  Once the soup base has come to a boil, add the reserved meatballs.  Reduce heat and cover.  Let simmer for about 1-2 hours.  
Once the soup has fully developed its flavor check for seasoning and adjust as neccessary.  
Discard all the stems.
Add the tortellini to the soup and turn off heat.  You don't want to overcook the noodles.  It should only take about 4 minutes.  
Add the fresh, minced parsley to the soup and serve topped with freshly grated parmesan and pepper. 

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