Italian Wedding Soup

This is something I’ve actually wanted to make for a long time, but somehow never got around to it.  Last night I had a friend over to dinner and wanted to use my brand-new 5 1/2-qt. Flame Le Creuset dutch oven, and my chard – Italian Wedding Soup it was.

As you can see from this picture, by the time I came back after eating dinner, the Israeli couscous I used had managed to soak up the remainder of the broth, making the leftovers more like a moist pasta dish.  Of course, as the recipient of such for lunch today, my stomach confirms that it is just as delicious this way.

Italian Wedding Soup combines tasty, light meatballs with leafy greens and tiny pasta.  Perfect for a quick dinner and, of course, for entertaining.

Italian Wedding Soup (4-6 servings for a main dish)

Note: This recipe made several dozen meatballs 1 inch in diameter, and I only used about three-quarters of them for the soup.  Of course you may make them in any size and use as many of them as you like!

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. your favorite mixture of ground meats – I used 1/2 lb. ground turkey, 1/4 lb. ground beef, and 1/4 lb. ground pork
  • 1 onion, minced
  • 2-4 cloves garlic, minced – we love garlic, so we used 4 cloves
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 c. bread crumbs, or enough to hold the mixture together
  • 1/2 c. grated Parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 qt. chicken broth
  • 1 bunch fresh chard, washed, leaves torn by hand
  • 1/2 lb. Israeli couscous or other small pasta (note: this makes for a pretty pasta-full soup, so if you’d prefer more broth, use less pasta)

Directions:

  1. Combine first seven ingredients gently in a bowl – try not to overwork the meat, as this can makes the meatballs tough.
  2. Form mixture into meatballs and set aside.
  3. Wilt chard in a large pot, then set chard aside and rinse out the pot.
  4. Bring chicken broth to a boil over medium heat.
  5. Stir in the Israeli couscous or small pasta.
  6. Gently drop meatballs into the broth, and lower the heat until the broth is simmering.  Cook meatballs until done, about 15 minutes.
  7. Add chard and stir gently to distribute evenly.
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