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Nature's Table Italian Wedding Soup

There are probably as many recipes for Italian Wedding Soup as there are interpretations of the savory concoction's origins.

Many food historians suggest that the name is the result of a simple mistranslation, believing that the name recalls the delicious marriage of the soup's ingredients. Other sources consider the savory soup a union of resources. In the rural regions of southern Italy and Sicily, the soup represented an amalgamation of ingredients -- one household contributed chopped meat, another gave up a fat hen, a family might forage for greens or a group of villagers convene to turn out handmade pastas.

Ingredients

Meatballs

  • 1/2 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 pound ground pork or veal
  • 1/4 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
  • 1 clove garlic, minced

Soup

  • 1 (10 ounce) package frozen spinach, thawed
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 1/2 cup diced celery
  • 1/2 cup diced carrot
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic in 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon Spike All-Purpose Seasoning
  • 1/4 pound uncooked orzo pasta
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch dissolved in 1/4 cup cold water
  • Grated Romano cheese to taste

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Meatballs: Combine ground meats, breadcrumbs, egg, salt and pepper to taste, parsley and 1 clove chopped garlic. Form into tiny meatballs.
  3. Place on a baking sheet and bake for about 25 minutes.
  4. Remove from sheet and set aside.
  5. Soup: Microwave spinach according to package directions.
  6. When cool enough to handle, squeeze out all moisture and set aside.
  7. Sauté diced onion, celery and carrot, 1 tablespoon chopped garlic in 1/4 cup olive oil, 5 minutes or until onion is transparent.
  8. Add chicken broth, basil, Spike and let simmer 5 minutes.
  9. Add orzo. Let cook for 8 to 10 minutes.
  10. Add cornstarch mixture, stirring slowly until soup begins to thicken.
  11. Add spinach to soup, followed by meatballs.
  12. Top with grated Romano and serve.

Yield: About 12 cups

Nutrition information per cup: Calories223; Fat13.3 g (3.8 sat.); Carbohydrate12.8 g; Cholesterol 45 mg; Sodium 593 mg; Protein12.9 g

Posted by GayleL at Recipe Goldmine 9:28:04am 5/12/03.

Source: orlandosentinel.com - Thought You'd Never Ask - April 3, 2003


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