Italian Wedding Soup

Italian Wedding Soup

Makes 6 – 8 servings

For The Meatballs

1 pound ground beef (80/20)

½ pound ground Italian-style sausage 

½ cup panko bread crumbs 

¼ cup chopped basil leaves 

2 teaspoons oregano 

1 tablespoon lemon zest 

½ cup finely grated parmesan 

1 large egg, lightly beaten 

Sea salt and cracked black pepper

1 tablespoon olive oil 

For The Soup

1 tablespoon olive oil 

1 large white onion, diced 

3 carrots, diced 

3 stalks celery, diced 

1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary leaves 

1 tablespoon minced fresh basil stems 

4 garlic cloves, minced 

2 tablespoons tomato paste 

1 cup dry white wine 

9 cups chicken stock 

Zest of 1 lemon 

1 cup acini de pepe pasta 

3 cups chopped kale 

¼ cup minced basil leaves 

2 cups cooked cannellini (white kidney) beans 

Loads of finely grated parmesan (loads)

Sea salt and cracked black pepper 

First, make the meatballs. In a large bowl, combine the beef, sausage, panko, basil, oregano, lemon zest, parm, egg, and a generous pinch of sea salt and cracked black pepper. Gently mix to evenly distribute, then divide into small golf ball-sized meatballs. 

Heat a large dutch oven (or stockpot) over medium-high heat and pour in your olive oil. When the oil is shimmering, and working in batches as necessary, brown the meatballs on both sides (about 2 – 3 minutes per side). Transfer to a plate and set aside, leaving any excess oil and fat in the pot.

Next, add your onions, carrot, and celery, season with a pinch of salt, and cook until softened and translucent, about 7 – 9 minutes. Add your garlic, rosemary, basil stems, and tomato paste, and cook, stirring often, for 2 minutes. Add your white wine, bring to a boil, and cook until almost entirely evaporated. Next, add your chicken stock, season to taste with salt, and bring to a boil. Add your lemon zest, meatballs, and pasta, then reduce the heat to medium low. Let the soup bubble and blip away until the meatballs are cooked through and the pasta is perfectly al dente, about 10 minutes (give a taste to check, as always). When there is about 5 minutes of cooking time remaining, go in with your kale leaves and beans. 

Plate up, then hit each bowl with a crack or two of black pepper, a sprinkle of basil leaves, and a generous mountain of parmesan cheese. Delicious!!

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