Sunday Suppers – Wedding Soup

23 Jan

Wedding soup is one of those things that I can remember eating all my life. It was filling and wonderful, especially after a day spent outside playing in the leaves or the snow. As an adult, it’s great to have on a cold day in front of the fire as a way to unwind after a busy weekend. My Bubba had made it all while my mom grew up, and my mom then put her own spin on the “recipe” to make it her own, and I have now done the same. Now, the reason for “recipe” is simple – there isn’t one. My Bubba didn’t write down or measure anything when she cooked. It was just common knowledge she filed away in her brain and would make from memory. Now I know my mom did this too because no recipes exist in all of her things, and she had never given my sister and I anything even remotely resembling a recipe. Essentially these recipes, such as this one, exist from observation. My mom would observe the things my Bubba would use to make something, and over my childhood I did the same. This recipe here is one I took the time to monitor what I was putting into the soup and it’s essentially a guideline. Cooking is something you should make your own, whether you follow a recipe, memory, or improvise and go from scratch. You need to stick to the basic components – meatballs, broth, spinach and carrots. The meatball recipe I listed is almost the same version I use when I make meatloaf, minus a few ingredients – just add some ketchup and coarse ground mustard and you’ve got meatloaf! Feel free to make whatever version of meatball you like, or add/remove any ingredients from my recipe to make it your own.

Again, this is a large yield soup recipe. Cut it in half or make the whole batch and freeze part of it. If you are going to freeze it, leave the pasta out of the portion you want to freeze, that way it won’t get mushy.Note that there is no call out for shredded chicken in my recipe – I omit this step because the meatballs are a mix of beef and turkey, so we’re still getting the poultry component and it just makes it quicker skipping this. Noone misses or notices anyway. Leaving the chicken out lets the meatballs be the star!

My last word of advice – don’t cheat and use store bought meatballs. Wedding soup is so simple to begin with, and there is no substitute for homemade meatballs. There just isn’t. And people will know you cheated because no home cook makes perfectly portioned and shaped meatballs.

Wedding Soup

Ingredients for meatballs:

2 1/2lbs beef/turkey meat mixture

1/2 cup shredded parmesan

1/3 cup chives

2tbsp garlic salt

1tbsp pepper

1 large egg

1/2 cup bread crumbs

1tbsp worcestershire sauce

Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Make bite size meatballs by taking about 1 teaspoon of the meat mixture and rolling it between your palms. Place completed meatballs on a cookie sheet. You should get around 200 meatballs, depending on what bite sized means to you. I got about 196. Set aside.

For the soup:

4 32oz cartons chicken broth, plus 1 additional in case too much broth is soaked up by the pasta

2 10oz bags shredded carrots

1 28oz bag chopped frozen spinach

3 cloves garlic, minced

1lb ditalini pasta (or whatever you prefer, following package directions for cooking)

Bring broth to a boil in a large soup pot. Once the broth starts to boil, add the meatballs, one at a time, SLOWLY so you do not splash yourself with molten hot broth. About halfway through adding the meatballs, give the pot a stir to avoid any of the meatballs sticking together. Once all the meatballs are added, let them boil for about 10 minutes.

Add the bags of shredded carrots and minced garlic, letting boil for about 5 minutes. Add Ditalini pasta (if freezing some soup, remove portion that you would like to freeze BEFORE adding pasta. Adjust amount of pasta you add depending on how much soup remains.) Cook pasta as directed, about 10 minutes. Shut off burner and add spinach. Stir until combined and heated through. If the pasta has soaked up too much broth, add the additional carton of broth.

Serve immediately.

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4 Responses to “Sunday Suppers – Wedding Soup”

  1. Yinzerella January 23, 2012 at 3:47 pm #

    I personally don’t think that carrots have any right to be anywhere near Wedding Soup.
    But you’re totally right about the meatballs 🙂

    • seasonedwithsarcasm January 23, 2012 at 9:34 pm #

      haha do you not like carrots? I try to add some to most of the soups I eat, even if it’s just for flavor depth! I am a meatball purist – I once had someone tell me that they used frozen meatballs in their wedding soup. I said why bother making it at all?!?!? Needless to say they were in shock at my enthusiasm for homemade meatballs.

      • Yinzerella January 23, 2012 at 10:28 pm #

        I like carrots just fine. But in my grandma’s recipe there aren’t any carrots or celery like in some canned and restaurant versions.
        My family’s recipe includes the meatballs (I like a beef-veal mix), shredded chicken, egg threads, orzo, meatballs, spinach, and lots of Parmesan cheese.
        If you are a meatball enthusiast I suggest you try this recipe: http://shine.yahoo.com/shine-food/the-perfect-italian-meatballs-2606824.html
        It was the best one I’ve ever had.
        Now that we’re talking about this, I think I might have to make a big pot very soon.

      • seasonedwithsarcasm January 26, 2012 at 2:42 pm #

        oh my…the egg threads in the soup sound amazing! I may have to try this the next time I make a batch. And that meatball recipe? As soon as I saw ricotta I was drooling and wanting to make them! May have to make some this weekend and have meatball hoagies. mmm. Thanks for sharing!

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