My cousin Hilary served a delicious version of Italian Wedding Soup at her wedding recently and it was so good that it prompted me to give it a try on my own. I've never made it before and we never really ate it growing up so I didn't have much to work with. I made a few colossal mistakes that I will correct next time, but I can let you know what they were so that you don't follow suit. Mostly, I shouldn't have used a whole box of pastina (tiny pasta stars). They totally took over so that it was more pasta to broth ratio than I would have wanted. I would use less pastina or substitute Isreali cous cous next time. Also, I only bought one bag of spinach when I really should have used two bags or one larger amount of frozen. I wasn't a total failure though. I made the meatballs with turkey meat and I used dill and very toasted breadcrumbs. Something about boiling meatballs in stock doesn't appeal to me, but the toasty breadcrumbs added a depth of flavor that tricked my taste buds into thinking that I'd fried or broiled them. Yum. I highly recommend this soup to warm you up when it's cold outside.
Italian Wedding Soup
1 lb. ground turkey
2 slices wheat toast
2 Tbs. fresh dill
12 oz. spinach (2 bags fresh or a frozen package)
4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1 light beer
3 medium carrots
1 cup Israeli cous cous
salt and pepper
1. Make breadcrumbs by toasting the slices of bread and smashing them in a food processor. I like to make the toast pretty dark so that it gives the meatballs more flavor. 2. Finely chop dill and in a large bowl combine turkey meat, dill, breadcrumbs, egg, 1 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp pepper until well combined.
3. Use this mixture to make tiny meatballs. You want about 1/2 tsp. sized balls here. Very small so that they are bite-size on your spoon. I had Mark help me with this and it was very romantic.
4. Chop the carrots and the onion into bite-sized pieces. In your stock pot, heat 1/2 Tbs. oil over medium heat. Add carrots and onions with a sprinkle of salt and pepper and saute for 3-4 minutes. Then add one beer and the stock.
5. Once the stock comes to a slow boil, add the meatballs, pasta and spinach.
6. Allow to cook for 20 minutes or so on a very low boil by which time the pasta and meatballs with both be fully cooked. Ladle into waiting bowls and top with generous shavings of Parmesan cheese.
Stir in the parm and enjoy.