February 8, 2009

Italian Wedding Soup

I love the canned Italian wedding soup you can find at any grocery store. The mini-meatballs, bits of pasta and flavorful blend of herbs are an awesome combination. So when I saw Giada making this soup, I knew I had to try it. I figured if the soup won me over coming out of a can, it would have to be amazing when made with my own two hands.

Unfortunately, I made a few changes to this recipe that I think kept it from being as glorious as I had hoped. The soups flavorings were all delicious, the real problem was with the meatballs. They weren't flavorful and were very tough even though I was careful not to overmix them. Obvioulsy I wasn't careful enough! I also made the mistake of just using ground beef because that was all our grocery store had (yes, I pretty much hate the grocery stores in my area. Whole Foods - why must you neglect us UESiders and position your stores in every other area of the island??). So the meatballs ended up tasting like balled up hamburgers. Less than stellar. This is what I get for messing with Giada!

I will try this one again and actually follow recipe to a "t," because the base of the soup was delicious and very flavorful. It was also really pretty with the green pieces of escarole and little strands of egg and parmesan. In the meantime, if anyone has any meatball tips I would love to hear them!!

Italian Wedding Soup
Slightly Adapted from Everyday Italian - Giada De Laurentiis

1 small onion, grated
1/3 cup chopped Italian parsley
1 large egg
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon salt
1 slice white bread, crust trimmed and torn into small pieces
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
8-ounces ground beef
8-ounces ground pork

12 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 pound escarole
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan, plus more for serving
salt and pepper
cooked macaroni noodles (optional)
  • Meatballs: In a bowl, stir to combine the onion, parsley, egg, garlic, salt and bread.
  • Stir in the cheese, beef and pork.
  • Shape the mixture into 1-inch diameter meatballs and place on a baking sheet.
  • Soup: Heat broth in a large pot over medium-high heat until it comes to a boil.
  • Add meatballs and escarole and simmer for about 8 minutes, or until meatballs are cooked and escarole is tender.
  • Whisk together the eggs and cheese and gradually stir into broth using a fork to create thin strands for about 1 minute.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Add in noodles and top with Parmesan, if desired.


Sara said...

Sorry to hear about the meatballs, this sure looks good anyways!

noble pig said...

Meatballs can be tempremental but it is pretty with the green, Beter luck next time.

jesse said...

"This is what I get for messing with Giada!"

--Sooo true. Although I have to say, the end result still looks pretty darned good!

Foodie with Little Thyme! said...

I make meatballs often in fact I made some yesterday. I used a BFC recipe instead of my own. What I found...I don't like bread in my meatballs. I think it makes them taste well...flat.
Soup looks great and I'm sure was very good.

A Feast for the Eyes said...

Your are truly becoming an experienced "culinaire"! Learning (and admitting) from our mistakes is a good thing. The pork and beef combo is a good one.
Good job! You're one step ahead of me; I've always wanted to make my own Italian Wedding Soup. Love the "green"!

Cherie said...

This soup looks delicious. I don't care about the meatballs, as long as the broth is good that's all I care about.

Grace said...

this type of soup is a bit too brothy for my tastes, but i like the look of it! giada isn't always right, you know--good for you for trying to spruce it up. :)

Maria said...

I just made this soup at the cooking school! Yours looks awesome even with the meatball issues!

Chef Fresco said...

looks good though! Props for making your own meatballs!

Amanda said...

Before even looking at the recipe I was going to suggest using 1/2 ground beef and 1/2 ground pork :) I see that's what they call for too. I make meatballs all the time and always use that combination. I actually use about 2/3 burger and 1/3 pork, but it works either way.

if it's any consolation, the soup looks delicious!!

Michelle said...

Oh my mom always made this soup. As a kid I'd pick out the meatballs and leave the escarole :-) Now I might do the opposite!

Culinarywannabe said...

Hi Sara - It did look pretty, so that was a good start! :)

Hi noble pig - I thought they look pretty with the herbs as well.

Hi Jesse - Giada knows best! ha! :)

Hi Foddie - Flat is exactly how I would describe these! I'll try it without the bread next time. Thanks!

Hi Feast for the Eyes - Ha! I'm making progress but still have a long way to go! Thanks for all your encouragement!

Hi Cherie - That's exactly what I did, and the broth was delicious!

Hi Grace - Thanks. I'm giving myself an "A" for effort! :)

Hi Maria - I should have sat in on your lesson!

Hi Chef Fresco - Thank-you!

Hi Amanda - Yes, next time I'm not going to be lazy and will trek over to the good supermarket where I know I can find ground pork. Thanks!

Hi Michelle - Isn't that funny! Crazy how our tastes change as we mature!

Elra said...

Uhhhh this sounds very romantic, no? I can imagine how delicious this soup is.

The Blonde Duck said...

Popped in to say hi from Maria's blog!

I swim at www.aduckinherpond.com.

Lori said...

Oh yummy! Soup! I was checking in on you to see what's cooking. I must make this soup.

coachcbs said...

Instead of ground pork, I use pork sausage...it adds flavor (hot or mild) and is a bit more sturdy to hold the meatballs together...also I use italian bread crumbs.

Culinarywannabe said...

Hi Coachcbs - Sausage is a great idea! I'm going to try that one.

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