Friday, January 24, 2014

Warming Winter Soup: A variation on Italian Wedding Soup

With this winter being so so cold we have been eating a ton of soup.  I keep roasting chickens so I have enough homemade stock/bone broth to keep making soup.  This is a favorite for a full meal soup.  My take on Italian Wedding soup.  I love that this is full of veggies, protein, and nourishing ingredients that keep you warm and satisfied.
First start by sauteeing 1 chopped onion, 3peeled chopped carrots, and a few stalks of chopped celery in a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil.  I find that giving the veggies a head start means the soup cooks much faster and tastes better.  For the celery I usually just start chopping at the top and get all the leafy parts for soup, and I often add more veggies than a recipe calls for, I love hearty chunky veggie filled soup.
Once the veggies are starting to soften I add some garlic.  I keep a paste of garlic that I make in my fridge.  I puree fresh garlic with a little olive oil to a paste and keep it in a jar.  It tastes fresh without the work of dealing with fresh garlic everytime I want it.  I don't cook the garlic too much, just till I can smell it, then add the stock/bone broth.
Then I add my favorite Italian style seasoning from Penzey's spices.  It is called Tuscan Sunset, and it has less oregano than traditional Italian seasoning, which I love, plus it adds a bit of fennel.  Also add salt.

 How exciting, quinoa in a jar and colander :)
Since I can't have regular pasta, I add quinoa to my soup.  I love the texture of quinoa in soup, but be sure to rinse it well since it is covered in saponin, a soapy substance to protect it from birds.  Soapy soup is not tasty!
 Next are the meatballs.  I keep homemade gluten free meatballs in the freezer.  I made a batch into tiny meatballs perfect for soup.  These are full of garlic and fresh parsley.  I normally use the recipe from my best friend Megan at  Hers are AWESOME!!!  Just make your favorite meatball, into a tiny size, and they work great in this soup.
Now that the quinoa and meatballs are in, stir a few times and let cook till quinoa is done and meatballs are hot through, usually about 15 to 20 minutes on a slow simmer.  Don't boil too hard or your meatballs might break apart.  

As soon as the quinoa and meatballs are done stir in a ton of fresh baby greens and chopped fresh parsley.  I used a baby spinach/kale/chard mix that was awesome.  This is a great use for those greens that are getting a little bit old, and not good for salad anymore.  Stir and cook just a couple of minutes until all the greens are wilted into the soup.  Then serve to some hungry kiddos :)

 They enjoyed two huge bowls of this soup!  It is a favorite in our house.  Hope you try it :)

No comments:

Post a Comment