You know that point when you’re totally over the indulgence of Holiday food? Yeah, for me it’s like on Thanksgiving night. I do love all the components; I guess it’s the volume.
So on Sunday afternoon, when we were invited to stop by one of our kids for leftovers, I gently sighed and accepted, remembering I’d loved the quinoa salad my daughter-in-law had prepared.
To my full on taste bud delight, she had a pot of soup on the burner. It was Italian Wedding Soup-ish with tiny meatballs floating in a savory broth with visible flecks of herbs. I had two bowls before we needed to scoot to the market ourselves.
It’s really not a good idea to go grocery shopping sans a list, however I did have basics in mind and I wanted to replicate Shirl’s soup; pantry staples plus ground meat and broth would suffice. Simple is my mantra; let the ingredients speak for themselves.
Scanning a few recipes for Italian Wedding soup, I got the gist and set out to put together a not-authentic pot of brothy meatball soup. Utilizing purchased and leftover ingredients, here’s what emerged:
Tiny Meatball Soup
- 1 lb lean ground beef
- 1 medium onion
- 6 rainbow carrots
- 4 cups turkey stock (yes, I know, but it was available)
- 2 cups red wine (leftover and exposed to the air, so not drinkable in my mind)
- 1 tablespoon each dried oregano and basil
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1 bunch fresh Italian parsley
- 1 cup orzo
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- Cheese to grate on top (I used sharp white cheddar that was slightly nutty and granular. Parmesan or pecorino would be good suggestions.)
- Form the ground meat into one inch balls. I intentionally didn’t season the meat, wanting it to absorb the flavors of the broth, wine and herbs.
- Heat a large soup pot over medium high heat; place meatballs in it and sauté until fat releases and meatballs are starting to brown. Skim off the fat.
- Chop the onions and carrots into ¼ inch dice while the meatballs brown. Add to the pan and cook for 3 to 4 minutes or until onions soften and become translucent.
- Rough chop parsley and set aside.
- Stir in the oregano, basil and garlic, followed by the broth and wine. Bring to a slow boil, reduce heat to a simmer, cover the pot and allow to cook until the vegetables are soft and meatballs are cooked through, approximately 15 to 20 minutes.
- Turn heat up to medium high, add orzo and cook until al dente, about 6 to 8 minutes.
- When orzo is done, stir in balsamic vinegar and the chopped parsley.
- Serve immediately and top with grated cheese.
After making a big enough pot of soup to slurp all week, things are well in my food universe.
Cheers, my friends!