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Friday, January 29, 2010

Italian Wedding Soup

I've been on kind of a soup roll lately. And I'm always on an Italian roll so this recipe fit the bill seamlessly. Italian Wedding soup is hearty and healthy and really easy to make. I've made a slight adjustment and taken the orzo out of the equation and added some carrot. You won't miss it at all.

Italian Wedding Soup is actually the missed English translation of Minestra Maritata. The true translation is "married soup" as in the marriage of the meat and vegetable in the soup making a great flavor. And you thought I was just another pretty face...

So if you've got 30 minutes you can make this great soup, which by the way, is even tastier the next day. You can make it your own as well by deciding which meat and veggie you want to put in it. You could easily substitute bits of sausage for the meatballs if you are in an extreme hurry. You can also substitute kale or escarole for the spinach.

Here's what you'll need:

2 boxes low sodium chicken broth
1lb grass fed ground beef
1 package Italian turkey sausage
1 egg
1T Italian seasoning
1/4 cup dehydrated onion flakes
1tsp garlic powder
1 package of fresh spinach
some chopped carrot
lemon wedges

Here's what you do:

Get the chicken broth boiling in a pot while you make up the meatballs. Take your beef, sausage, egg, onion and seasonings and mix them up in a separate bowl. Remember the golden rule: Use thine hands to mix. Yes, there are two golden rules. Don't make me have to get Lenny the Foot to persuade you. Mix away getting all ingredients well combined. Now start rolling up little meatballs (think bite size). Again I say, if you have children now is the time to turn your kitchen into a labor camp. If they can work an Xbox they can roll a meatball.

As your broth comes to a rolling boil, drop the raw meatballs in. Cook them for about 10 minutes. They will stay fairly light in color. If this freaks you out you can brown them in a little olive oil first. Add in your chopped carrot. After the meatballs have cooked, turn the soup down to simmer and add in the full bag of spinach. The spinach will cook down in just a few minutes. Serve the soup in bowls and add a squeeze of lemon over the top. This really brightens up the flavor.

If you are a fat phobic you may want to refrigerate the soup so the fat from the meat will rise to the top and you can skim it off. Then you can reheat it. If you are like me and take in no simple carbohydrates (grain, sugar, dairy) you need this fat for energy. So get over yourself and eat the fat. Just don't have a chocolate donut to go along with it.

Can you believe you are done already? What will you do with the rest of your day? I'm off to CrossFit!

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