Italian Wedding Soup Recipe

Italian Wedding Soup
Submitted By: Taz

Ingredients:

Meatballs:
½ lb Ground Lean Beef
½ lb Ground Pork
1 Small Onion - grated
1 Large clove Fresh Garlic - minced
1 Large Egg
1 Slice White Bread - crust removed and torn into small pieces
½ Cup Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese - grated
⅓ Cup Fresh Italian Parsley - small chopped
1 tsp Kosher Salt
Fresh Ground Black Pepper to taste (Apx ¼ tsp)
Soup:
1lb Acini di pepe pasta*
2 Quarts (8 Cups) Chicken Broth - homemade preferred but a low-sodium store bought is fine
1lb Escarole (can substitute curly endive or spinach) - rough chopped 
3 Hard-boiled Eggs - diced
2 Large Stalks Celery - diced
1 Large Carrot - peeled and diced
1 Medium Onion - diced
Kosher Salt and Fresh Ground Black Pepper to taste

Preparation:
  1. In a large bowl, mix together the grated onion, garlic, egg, bread, parsley, salt and pepper until thoroughly combined - Stir in the ground beef, ground pork, and parmigiano-reggiano cheese until well mixed (DO NOT 'squeeze' the meat)
  2. Shape the resulting mixture into on inch diameter meatballs (apx 1 ½ tsp of mixture each) and place on a baking sheet until ready to use
  3. Cook pasta according to package in a large pot of salted water until al dente - Drain and chill in refrigerator until ready to use
  4. Bring chicken broth to a boil in a 4-6 quart soup pot over medium-high heat
  5. Add celery, carrot, and onion to the broth and return to a simmer (adjust heat as necessary) - Allow to simmer for 10 minutes
  6. Add the prepared meatballs and escarole to the broth and return to a simmer - Allow to simmer until meatballs are cooked through and escarole is tender (apx 8 minutes)
  7. Add the diced hard-boiled egg taste and allow to simmer for an additional 1-2 minutes
  8. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper to taste
  9. Place ½ cup of the cooked/chilled pasta to each serving bowl and ladle the soup directly over the pasta - Serve immediately garnished with a little grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese if desired
* Acini di pepe is a small, round pasta that is commonly used in soups and cold salads. The name 'Acini di pepe' translates as 'grains of pepper' referring to the pastas shape and size which looks similar to couscous. Acini di pepe is one of a number of pastas known as 'Soup Cuts' which are traditionally served in thin soups or broths rather than under a heavy sauce like spaghetti, rigatoni, etc. If you cannot find Acini di pepe you can always substitute Orzo, Pastina (any 'tiny' 'Soup Cut' pasta will work), Couscous or even Rice (though the resulting texture may differ)

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