Italian Wedding-ish Soup
October 14, 2009
Jeff and I most certainly fall into the “opposites attract” camp. He is tall and skinny; I am short and well, not-skinny. I am loud; he is quiet. Jeff is a chocolate cake kind of guy while I prefer vanilla. Both of us set in our own respective ways at the ripe old age of 27.
One thing we do agree on is that the best meals come in one bowl. Soups, stews, bakes, pastas, ragus, anything that can be enjoyed cross-legged under a blanket on the couch. Given this, our brand new slow cooker and the fact that it was 0degrees, ZERO DEGREES!!!! in Toronto this morning, in October, I am forecasting we’ll be eating a lot of soup et al this winter.
With summer long gone I took some time last weekend to dig through some old magazines and recipe books looking for some autumnal inspiration. I picked this recipe, from Martha Stewart’s January 2009 edition of Everyday Food, because it reminded me of my father.
If Jeff is tomato soup and I am potage pommentier, my father is hands-down Italian Wedding. I’ve never had Italian Wedding Soup. I’ve never been to an Italian wedding. But my dad always orders it at East Side Mario’s, he just loves those tiny little meat balls. So I made it and I was quite proud to invite him to join us for leftovers on Sunday afternoon when he drove in to bring us home for Thanksgiving. Dad said the soup was nothing like Italian Wedding Soup, really, but it was still good and that pleased me enough. Thus the ‘-ish’ in Italian Wedding-ish Soup.
We enjoyed this with fresh, crusty bread and cold butter on an even colder Saturday afternoon and again on a Sunday. And a Tuesday evening, each bowl better than the last.
Italian Wedding-ish Soup
Adapted from Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food
1 pound ground dark-meat turkey
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup plain breadcrumbs
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
coarse salt and ground pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, halved and thinly sliced
1 litre reduced-sodium chicken broth (or 2 14.5 oz cans)
1 28 ounce can diced tomatoes in juice
2 heads escarole (about 2 pounds), coarsely chopped
1. Combine turkey, garlic, egg, breadcrumbs, Parmesan, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a bowl. Roll mixture into balls, measuring about 1 tablespoon for each meatball. You will have about 20-22 meatballs.
2. In a large pot, heat oil over medium. Cook onion, stirring occasionally until soft, about 3-4 minutes. Add broth and tomatoes with juice and bring to a simmer. Add meatballs. Cook without stirring until meatballs float to the surface, about 5 minutes.
3. Add as much escarole as will fit in the pot. Cook, adding remaining escarole, until wilted and the meatballs have cooked through, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and serve with more Parmesan, if desired.