Italian Wedding Soup

Recipe from Lisa@The Cutting Edge of Ordinary

For the meatballs:

1/2 lb. ground chuck

1/4 cup panko bread crumbs

2 tablespoon Parmesan cheese

1 tablespoon parsley

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 tablespoons milk

1 egg

1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

salt & pepper to taste

For the soup:

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 small onion, finely chopped

3 medium carrots, chopped

2 stalks of celery, chopped

7 cups chicken stock * see note

salt & pepper to taste

1 tablespoon of Italian seasoning

1/2 cup acini di pepe pasta (or any other little pasta)

4 cups, fresh baby spinach leaves, lightly packed

1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

In a medium bowl, combine all meatball ingredients and mix together. Don't over-mix it though. I use my hands to mix. Roll the meat into small little balls. About the circumference of a dime. Refrigerate until you are ready to use. Heat olive oil over medium heat in a skillet and then add onions, carrots, celery and cook until just tender. About 10 minutes. Set aside.

Put the chicken stock into a large pot on medium heat (*see notes). Once the veggies are tender add them to the stock. Add in the seasonings and heat to a slow boil. Boil for about 15 minutes.

Put the meatballs into the soup and continue to cook for about 4 minutes or until the meatballs float. Lower the soup to a simmer. Now to add the pasta. I cook my my acini di pepe in a separate pot until it's very al dente and then add it in to the pot. I find that cooking the pasta in the soup makes it turn out very gummy and makes the soup too starchy. Add in the cooked pasta and the spinach leaves. Cook until the spinach has wilted. Add the Parmesan, give it a quick stir and your ready to eat! Mangia, mangia! Something my dad always said when the food hit the table!

Note* You can certainly buy chicken stock but I like to make a quick chicken "stock" by boiling a small 3 - 4 pound chicken carcass. You can even do this with a rotisserie chicken. Just pick the meat off the bones and then throw all the bones and skin into a soup pot, bring to a boil and simmer an hour. Remove the chicken bones and you have a fast chicken stock! I save the chicken meat for another meal or freeze it for my next batch of chicken soup.