Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Italian Wedding Soup

I really didn't plan for this blog to turn into a food blog, but it seems that all I have done on here lately is whine about being sick and share Crock Pot recipes.  The two do go hand in hand a bit.  I haven't really felt like doing much creative recently, so about the most exciting thing I have done of late is occasionally cook something.

That said, I made something new today, Italian Wedding Soup.

Italian Wedding Soup
I've eaten it before in restaurants, but I have never made it.  In googling up recipes for it, I found out a little of its history.  It turns out that Italian Wedding Soup, doesn't actually have anything to do with weddings.  The name is a mistranslation of the Italian phrase minestra maritata referring to the "marriage" of the meat and green vegetables that are standard to this soup.  Ingredients may vary in different recipes, but there will always be some type of green vegetable, such as spinach, escarole, or kale; and meat, usually meatballs made out of beef and/or sausage and sometimes chicken.  These are cooked in a clear chicken broth.  Other vegetables may also be added, as well as lentils or small pieces of pasta.  Here is what I used. 

To start:
1/2 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs (I used frozen.)

1 large onion, chopped
Leafy heads off 8-10 stalks of celery, finely chopped
2 cups chopped fresh baby spinach

3 tablespoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon black pepper
3 tablespoons dried parsley flakes
4 cubes Wyler's Chicken Bouillon
4 cups diced carrots
2 boxes of Swanson's Chicken Broth

I put the chicken in the Crock Pot frozen.

Boneless, skinless, chicken thighs, about half a pound.

Then I chopped up the celery, onions, and spinach.

Lots of leafy celery

Chopped up spinach

One humongous onion, chopped.

Onion, celery, and spinach, chopped and all mixed up.
I put the onion, celery, and spinach in the Crock Pot and added the garlic powder, black pepper, dried parsley flakes, 4 cubes of chicken bouillon, diced carrots, and chicken broth.  I set the temperature on Low for 8 hours, then headed to bed.  (I could have cooked it 4 hours on High instead, but I was starting it the night before.)

And this stuff.

Into the Crock Pot on Low for 8 hours.  (Overnight)

In the morning I stirred it well, breaking up the piece of chicken as I went.  (I love the boneless, skinless thighs for soups because they fall to pieces so easily.) 

Then I made the meatballs.

1 pound of extra lean ground beef
1 pound turkey Italian sausage
1 egg
1/2 "tube" of Premium Whole Wheat Crackers, crushed
1/2 cup Kraft Three Cheese Blend
1 tablespoon Black pepper
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
2 teaspoons dried basil leaves
2 tablespoons Italian seasoning

Extra lean ground beef and turkey Italian sausage

This stuff went in with the meat.
I added the ground beef, sausage, egg, crushed crackers, Three Cheese Blend, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, basil leaves, and Italian seasoning  together and mixed them up well.

Ground beef, sausage, egg, crushed crackers,
Three Cheese Blend, pepper, garlic powder,
onion powder, basil leaves, and Italian seasoning

All mixed up.
I formed the meat mixture into one inch balls, ending up with a little over 100 meatballs.  As I made them I placed them in casserole dishes that I had sprayed with Pam.


I put the pans of meatballs in the oven to brown, at 350 degrees for 15 minutes, then I stirred them around and cooked them for another 5 minutes.  At this point they were nicely browned, although still a little pink inside.

Meatballs, browned and ready to go in the Crock Pot.

After I took them out of the oven, I put them on paper towels for a bit, to drain off the excess grease.  Then I added them to the Crock Pot. 

Also added:
1 more box of chicken broth

I stirred it well and reset it on Low.  I let it cook for a couple of hours, then I tasted it and added a few more spices.

2 more cubes of chicken bouillon
2 tablespoons of beef bouillon

Several shakes of garlic powder, to taste
Several shakes of ground basil, to taste
Several shakes of pepper, to taste 
Several shakes of oregano, to taste
Several shakes of Italian seasoning, to taste

At this point I added the extra chicken bouillon, and the beef bouillon, plus several shakes each of garlic powder, ground basil, pepper, oregano, and Italian seasoning, to taste.  Then I let it cook on Low for a couple more hours.

This stuff too.

Mmmmm, garlic bread.
When the soup was almost done I made a loaf of garlic bread to go with it.  (Okay, I heated up a loaf of pre-made garlic bread.)

Three Cheese Blend was
the perfect finishing touch.

When the soup was ready I ladled up a bowl and sprinkled on some
Three Cheese Blend.  All that was left to do was grab a piece of garlic bread and enjoy!

Oh yeah!

Seriously yum!

Linking up to:
Whatever Goes Wednesday
Crafty Sasse Wednesday Link Party
A Round Tuit


  1. That soup looks scrumplicious! and garlic bread too! Yum!!

    Thanks for linking to a Round Tuit!
    Hope you have a fabulous week!
    Jill @ Creating my way to Success

    1. I was just thinking about heating some up for supper. The garlic bread is gone, but I am thinking about putting it over rice. Pasta is traditional, but I am more of a rice girl myself. :)