24 May ITALIAN WEDDING SOUP
1/2 POUND GROUND BEEF
1/2 POUND GROUND VEAL (GROUND PORK CAN BE SUBSTITUTED OR 1/4 LB. VEAL & 1/4 LB. PORK)
1 CUP ITALIAN SEASONED BREAD CRUMBS
1/2 CUP GRATED PARMESAN CHEESE
1/2 TSP. SALT
1/4 TSP. BLACK PEPPER (CAN BE OMITTED)
2 LARGE EGGS (BEATEN LIGHTLY WITH FORK)
1 TBS. FINELY GRATED LEMON RIND (A MUST FOR THIS MEATBALL)
1/2 TSP. NUTMEG
Place all ingredients in bowl and mix well.
Shape into tiny meatballs about the size of a dime and place on a parchment lined cookie sheet pan.
Heat a mixture of olive oil and vegetable oil in a frying pan. Fry meatballs until browned. Drain onto paper toweling.
Set aside until ready to add to the chicken soup. Can be made ahead and refrigerated or frozen until ready to use.
SMALL LOAF OF FIRM SLICED SANDWICH WHITE BREAD LIKE PEPPLERIDGE FARMS OR AN ENGLISH TOASTING BREAD
1/2 TSP. SALT
COMBINATION OF OLIVE OIL AND VEGETABLE OIL FOR FRYING BREAD SLICES
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees
Beat eggs well in a pie plate. Add salt and stir. Remove the crust from around the bread.
Dip each bread slice in egg wash and quickly remove and place in frying pan.
Make sure oil is warmed sufficiently before adding the bread slices. Fry until lightly browned on both sides. Drain onto paper towel lined cookie sheet.
When slices are cooled, cut into tiny cubes with a very sharp knife and transfer to a baking sheet spreading in a single layer.
Bake in a pre-heated 350 degree oven for about 10-15 minutes stirring and flipping often with spatula till crispy.
Cool. Place in bowl or container and cover. If not using within a couple of hours, place in refrigerator.
When ready to use, remove from refrigerator to warm up to room temperature.
Place in serving dish and let guests scoop a couple of tablespoons into their soup.
REMAINING INGREDIENTS AND SERVING DIRETIONS
1 HEAD OF ESCAROLE, cleaned and cut into strips or small pieces
USE only the green upper part of the escarole for adding to the chicken soup. White part is bitter and can be discarded or saved and added to a mixture of salad greens. Escarole is the authentic greens used for this traditional soup. A small bag of fresh thinly cut up spinach can be used IF escarole isn’t available.
3/4 POUND OF UNCOOKED ACINI Di PEPE PASTA
(traditional pastina for this soup) or any other small pasta like stars, orzo pasta or tiny tubetti
When chicken broth is ready to be heated for serving, place a large pot of cold water over high heat. When water comes to a rapid boil,
add a little salt, stir and then add pastina, stirring often so it doesn’t stick to the pot. Follow package directions for approximate cooking time.
Do not overcook as pastina will continue to cook when added to the last few minutes of heating up the soup. Drain pastina in colander,
rinse under cold water to stop the cooking process and set aside until soup and meatballs have been heated.
Then add pastina and escarole and stir 1-2 minutes until escarole wilts. Ready to ladle soup into soup tureen or individual soup dishes.
Place homemade croutons in serving bowl and bring to the dinner table. Have guests add some of the croutons to their soup dish and top off with grated parmesan or a mixture of parmesan and romano cheese.
If soup, tiny meatballs and croutons have been refrigerated, remove from refrigerator about an hour before heating in order to bring them to a somewhat room temperature. Place soup and meatballs in stock pot, bring to a simmer over medium heat.
If you just happen to have a parmigiano rind or two laying around, be adventurous and toss it in the stock pot while chicken soup is heating up.
Some cheese lover might e lucky to find some of it in his or her soup dish, all gooey and chewy!!
There are a lot of involved steps in the preparation of our family’s traditional Italian Wedding Soup which is always served at Thanksgiving Day dinner along with the American traditional turkey, stuffing dressing, sweet potatoes but it is so well worth it.