Italian Wedding Soup

This recipe appears in my Marina Martindale novel, The Reunion. One of the supporting characters, a teenager and aspiring chef, creates this dish for his older brother, who’s come down with the flu. I love Italian wedding soup, but had never tried preparing it myself, so first I would have to try it in my own kitchen.

As I started researching recipes I discovered many variations of Italian wedding soup, all of which sounded delicious. So I combined the best of the best and created my own interpretation. The result was fabulous. It came out better than expected.

Enjoy.

GM

 

ITALIAN WEDDING SOUP

For the meatballs

  • 1 pound ground beef, ground chicken or ground turkey
  • OR ½ pound ground meat with ½ pound ground pork
  • ¼ cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning blend
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 egg

Preheat oven to 350°. Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl and knead together like a meatloaf. Roll into small meatballs, about ½ to 1 inch in diameter. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until brown. Yields approximately 40 to 50 meatballs. Set aside.

For the soup

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ medium sized yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 3 carrots, peeled and sliced (optional)
  • 2 stalks celery, sliced (optional)
  • 10 cups, (2 ½ quarts) chicken stock
  • ½ cup dry white wine (such as Chardonnay)
  • 1 egg, well beaten
  • 1 cup small pasta (such as stars or small sea shells)
  • 2 teaspoons salt (if desired)
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dill
  • 12 ounces fresh spinach, washed and trimmed
  • OR 1 can of spinach or 1 package of frozen spinach (defrosted)

While the meatballs are baking sauté onion, garlic, carrots and celery, (if desired) in olive oil in a stockpot for approximately 5 to 6 minutes. Add chicken stock and white wine and bring to a boil. Once soup mixture is boiling beat egg in a small mixing bowl with a whisk until slightly frothy. Pour egg slowly and incrementally into soup mixture, whisking the soup mixture continuously until all of the egg has been added. Add pasta, salt, (if desired) and pepper and allow mixture to simmer for about 6 to 8 minutes, or until pasta is soft. Add meatballs and dill. Cover and simmer on low for another 10 minutes. Add spinach and simmer for another 1 to 2 minutes before serving. Once soup is ladled into bowls top with grated Parmesan cheese.

Rosie’s Recipe–New England Turnovers

Seafood was just as popular in Rosie’s day as it is today, and this recipe, from Rosie’s Riveting Recipes, is yummy and delicious. However, as noted below, those who don’t feel comfortable making pastry from scratch should be able to get good results using frozen pie crusts. Butter can also be used in place of margarine.

Enjoy.

GM

NEW ENGLAND TURNOVERS

Turnover Filling

  • 1 4 oz. package shredded codfish
  • 2 tablespoons margarine
  • 2 tablespoons enriched all purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • ½ cup milk

Freshen codfish as directed on package. Melt margarine over low heat. Add flour and seasoning and stir until smooth. Add milk, stirring constantly, until smooth and thickened. Add freshened codfish and mix well

Pastry

  • ½ cup margarine
  • 1 cup sifted all purpose flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons water

Sift flour and salt together 3 times. Cut in margarine with a pastry blender or 2 knives until consistency of coarse meal. Add water and toss lightly with a fork until all particles are moistened. Roll out on lightly floured board into an 8 x 22-inch rectangle. Cut into 6 squares.  Heap turnover filling into each square. Fold squares in half. Press edges together with fork dipped in flour. Prick top to allow steam to escape. Bake in hot oven (425º F) 15 minutes. Yield:  6 servings.

Modern adaptation: Fish can be freshened by placing it in a bowl of cold salt water for about 15 minutes. However, if using individually frozen pieces of uncooked fish, this step may not be necessary. Frozen pie shells or pastry can also be used, and any leftover filling can be served as a delicious topping over the turnovers.

Rosie’s Recipe Corn Pudding

This recipe is such a classic, and it’s so simple, that I’m surprised that neither my mother, nor any of my grandmothers, ever prepared it. It’s included in Rosie’s Riveting Recipes, and it’s probably one of the easiest recipes in the entire book. The results are delicious. The pudding has a rich, buttery flavor, making it the perfect, flavorful side dish. Enjoy.

GM

CORN PUDDING

  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups fresh or canned corn
  • 2 tablespoons melted margarine
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 cups milk

Beat the eggs. Add all the other ingredients and salt and pepper to taste. Pour into a greased baking dish, place in a pan of hot water, and bake in a moderate oven for about 1 hour or until set in the center. Yields 6 servings.

Note:  A 15.5 ounce can of corn works nicely for this recipe.

Fiesta Chicken Casserole

I love to tweak recipes and create my own version of something. It’s what I do, and I know I’m not alone. A lot of you do this as well. This is a Campbell’s soup recipe that I’ve, shall we say, revised,  and played around with enough to call it my own.  It’s easy and delicious.  Enjoy.

GM

FIESTA CHICKEN CASSEROLE

  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups diced, cooked chicken breast
  • 1 1/2 cups salsa
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 can corn
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • 6 corn tortillas
  • 1 cup Mexican blend cheese

Preheat oven to 350°. Cut chicken breast into small pieces, cook until well done and place in a large baking dish. Blend salsa, sour cream, corn, beans and soup together in a large bowl. Pour over chicken in baking dish and stir. Top with corn tortillas. (Tortillas may be cut in half to cover the casserole more evenly.) Top with cheese and bake for approximately 30 to 35 minutes, or until cheese is melted and the casserole is bubbling. Makes approximately 6 to 8 servings.

Italian Wedding Soup

Along with writing Rosie’s Riveting Recipes, I also write romance novels, under the name Marina Martindale. Writing is a job I truly love, and so far in each novel I’ve included a scene in which one of my characters cooks something wonderful. I’ll also include the recipe at the back of the book. The following recipe is from my first romance novel The Reunion. I love Italian wedding soup, so one of my characters, a seventeen-year-old aspiring chef, prepares it. The recipe is my own creation, and it comes from a combination of several different Italian wedding soup recipes.

Enjoy.

GM

Or, should I say, MM?

ITALIAN WEDDING SOUP

For the meatballs

  • 1 pound ground beef, ground chicken or ground turkey
  • OR ½ pound ground meat with ½ pound ground pork
  • ¼ cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning blend
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 egg

Preheat oven to 350°. Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl and knead together like a meatloaf. Roll into small meatballs, about ½ to 1 inch in diameter. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until brown. Set aside.

For the soup

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ medium sized yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 3 carrots, peeled and sliced (optional)
  • 2 stalks celery, sliced (optional)
  • 10 cups, (2 ½ quarts) chicken stock
  • ½ cup dry white wine (such as Chardonnay)
  • 1 egg, well beaten
  • 1 cup small pasta (such as stars or small sea shells)
  • 2 teaspoons salt (if desired)
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dill
  • 12 ounces fresh spinach, washed and trimmed
  • OR 1 can of spinach or 1 package of frozen spinach (defrosted)

While the meatballs are baking sauté onion, garlic, carrots and celery, (if desired) in olive oil in a stockpot for approximately 5 to 6 minutes. Add chicken stock and white wine and bring to a boil.  Once soup mixture is boiling beat egg in a small mixing bowl with a whisk until slightly frothy. Pour egg slowly and incrementally into soup mixture, whisking the soup mixture continuously until all of the egg has been added. Add pasta, salt, (if desired) and pepper and allow mixture to simmer for about 6 to 8 minutes, or until pasta is soft. Add meatballs and dill. Cover and simmer on low for another 10 minutes. Add spinach and simmer for another 1 to 2 minutes before serving. Once soup is ladled into bowls top with grated Parmesan cheese.