Remember when I posted a chicken noodle soup recipe, apologizing for the poor timing, claiming spring was right around the corner?
Joke’s on me. We got some of the only snow this area has seen on the one weekend I had to drive to Maine, and then some more the following week. Snow and weather aside, your comments pretty much confirmed that soup has no season! It turns out that quite a few of you enjoy soup year round. Now I don’t feel quite so guilty sharing a soup recipe with you on March 4th.
I can remember a time when I didn’t love soup. Nay, a time when I didn’t even really care for it. It wasn’t that long ago.
One day in college, I branched out, dabbling in the cafeteria’s soup. I remember trying Italian Wedding Soup one day during lunch, as its name intrigued me. I sat alone in the way back of the cafeteria, trying to study for one of my impossibly difficult business classes, but really eavesdropping on the conversations at the next table, or spying on the other cliques. I finally realized that soup could not only be delicious, but filling as well.
Soon after, I remember heading to Costco to stock up on bulk items to store in my dorm room, and I purchased sixer of Campell’s Italian Wedding Soup. It soon became a staple in my pantry, during and after college.
Fast forward to real time. Soup in a can? Not for this housewife in training.
Not only have I learned to love soup, but I’ve learned to love homemade soup even more. Making soup is a labor of love. It can be time consuming with all the prep work, but the end result it always so worth the effort. This recipe in particular is not only one of the tastiest versions of Italian Wedding Soup I’ve ever had, but it’s one of the quickest soups I’ve ever made.
Italian Wedding Soup
Print this recipe!
Slightly adapted from Food and Wine
2 quarts low-sodium chicken broth
2 celery celery stalks, chopped
1/4 C orzo, or other small pasta shape
1 lb. ground pork
1/4 C shaved Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
1/4 C panko bread crumbs
2 bunches escarole, chopped
One 15-ounce can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed well
salt and pepper, to taste
Into a large pot, pour chicken broth and add celery. Bring to a boil, and add the orzo. Cook until al dente.
Meanwhile, in a bowl, mix the pork with the 1/4 cup of cheese, the bread crumbs, salt and pepper. Form the meat into 1-inch balls.
Drop the balls into the boiling soup and simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in the escarole and beans and simmer until the meatballs are cooked through.
Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Serve with extra cheese.
Hands down, this version beats any others I’ve made or tried. (Yes, even the Barefoot Contessa’s!) I adored the use of pork for the meatballs. Cooking them right in the pot gave the soup great depth of flavor and also added to the soup’s authenticity, or atleast the flavor I prefer in a good Italian Wedding Soup.
This soup is light, but substantial at the same time. With minimal ingredients and prep, this is easily a weeknight meal. A weeknight staple, even.
Soothing and delicious.
Move over chicken noodle. There’s a new soup in town.