Oh Fall. You are probably my favorite season. The changing leaves that are crisp under your feet, sweaters and boots, tea on cozy afternoons, whisky on a brisk evening and my true favorite the return of soups and stews to dinner time. Really what is not to love?! It is a magical time where you get to enjoy all the good things about chilly weather, without that nasty four letter word that I dare not name out of fear it will appear – I do live in Alberta after all!
For a chilly week night soup is such a great dinner option – healthy, inexpensive, can be put together quickly, and is almost always guaranteed to taste better the next day (yay left overs!).
But if I’m being honest when I eat a vegetable soup for dinner I kind of feel cheated and slightly unsatisfied. Don’t get me wrong I really enjoy them – curried cauliflower soup delicious! I just miss the meat and carbs. Which is probably why I enjoy Italian Wedding Soup so much. Tasty little meatballs, beans, bits of pasta and the goodness of vegetables for a well balanced meal.
My Italian Wedding Soup is an amalgamation of a few recipes, that is hearty and healthy. Added in lots of vegetables, used pork as a lean meat, and low sodium broth. The soup keeps well for a few days in the fridge and freezes well but for no more than 3 months.
Italian Wedding Soup
- 3/4 pound ground pork
- 1/3 cup fresh bread crumbs
- 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 garlic clove, finely minced
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire
- salt & pepper
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 2 medium carrots, chopped
- 2 celery stalks, chopped
- 1 small bunch of kale, thinly sliced
- 8 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 15-ounce can white beans, rinsed
- 1 cup of orecchiette pasta
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Romano cheese
- To prepare meatballs: Combine pork, breadcrumbs, cheese, egg, parsley, oregano, garlic, Worcestershire, pepper and salt in a large bowl. Refrigerate for 10 minutes to firm up. With damp hands, shape the mixture into small 1-inch meatballs (about 1 small tablespoon each).
- Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the meatballs and cook, turning occasionally, until browned on all sides, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.
- To prepare soup: Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a soup pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion, carrots and celery and cook, stirring, until the onion is translucent, 7 to 9 minutes. Stir in broth, beans, pasta and the meatballs and any juice. Bring just to a boil, then reduce heat to maintain a simmer. Add kale and stir occasionally, until the vegetables are tender, 20 to 25 minutes.
- To serve top each portion with 1 tablespoon grated cheese.
Do you have any favorite fall soup recipes? Feel free to comment and share. Thanks 🙂