I know there are cooks–quite a few–on this site. So let’s get some recipes out. This one is for a great soup. It takes time and probably a trip to the store, but as the cool weather approaches (and we are watching Utes football games on TV) this one is worth all you put into it.
Italian Wedding Soup
For the meatballs:
- 5¼ ounces ground beef
- 5¼ ounces ground pork
- 5¼ ounces ground veal
- 2 large eggs
- ½ cup panko breadcrumbs
- ¼ cup finely grated pecorino cheese
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ cup finely chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
For the soup:
- 2 tablespoons neutral oil, such as canola
- 3 medium carrots, peeled and cut into ½-inch dice
- 3 stalks celery, cut into ½ inch dice, plus leaves
- 1 medium white onion, cut into ½-inch dice
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 pound escarole, washed thoroughly, tough outer leaves and roots removed, roughly chopped
- 6 cups chicken broth
- 4 large eggs
- ½ cup finely grated pecorino cheese
- Extra-virgin olive oil, for finishing
- Freshly ground black pepper
- ½ pound mini pasta, such as tubetti, ditalini, pastina or pearl pasta
- Make the meatballs: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Drizzle a baking sheet with olive oil and set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine beef, pork, veal, eggs, breadcrumbs, cheese, salt, pepper and parsley. Use your hands to mix well and form ½- to 1-inch mini meatballs, transferring to prepared baking sheet as you go. Bake until meatballs are brown and firm, about 15 minutes.
- While meatballs bake, make the soup: In a large pot over medium-high heat, heat oil until it shimmers. Add carrots, celery, celery leaves, onions and garlic. Cook, stirring, until vegetables soften, about 5 minutes. Stir in chopped escarole and chicken broth. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil. Lower heat to maintain a simmer, and add the baked meatballs. Simmer, stirring every few minutes, 30 minutes.
- While soup simmers, bring a big pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook according to package instructions. Drain.
- Crack eggs into a small bowl and whisk. Slowly drizzle beaten egg into simmering soup, gently swirling around with a wooden spoon to disperse. Remove soup from heat.
- Divide pasta among four bowls. Ladle in soup. Finish with a generous sprinkling of pecorino, a drizzle of olive oil and black pepper. Serve immediately.