Larry’s Italian Wedding Soup

© Can Stock Photo/ bruhum

Writing is something I truly love doing. Along with writing Rosie’s Riveting Recipes, I write contemporary romance novels under the name Marina Martindale. Each of my novels includes a scene in which a character cooks something wonderful, and I include the recipe at the back of the book.

This recipe is from my first romance novel, The Reunion. I love Italian wedding soup, so Larry, a seventeen-year-old aspiring chef, has prepared it for his ailing brother, saying it’s his grandmother’s recipe. In reality, however, this recipe is my own creation. It comes from a combination of several different Italian wedding soup recipes, along with a little trial and error.

Gayle Martin

Larry’s ITALIAN WEDDING SOUP

For the meatballs

  • 1 pound ground beef*
  • 1/4 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning blend
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 egg

Preheat oven to 350F. Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl and knead together like a meatloaf. Roll into small meatballs, about 1/2 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
  • 1/2 medium sized yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 3 carrots, peeled and sliced (optional)
  • 2 stalks celery, sliced (optional)
  • I package of fresh mushrooms (optional)
  • 10 cups, (2 1/2 quarts) chicken stock
  • 1/2 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)
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dill
  • 12 ounces fresh spinach, washed and trimmed**

While the meatballs are baking saute the onion, garlic, carrots, celery, (if desired), and fresh mushrooms, (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 the 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.

* Ground chicken or ground turkey may also be used, or 1/2 pound of your favorite ground meat can be mixed with 1/2 of ground pork.

**Frozen or canned spinach may be substituted for fresh spinach

 

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Hungarian Goulash

From the Rosie’s Riveting Recipes cookbook

© Can Stock Photo / fanfo

This historic recipe is great for using up leftovers, and while it includes potatoes as an option, I personally wouldn’t consider it a real goulash without the potatoes, or a can of tomatoes for that matter. If you have any leftover vegetables in the refrigerator you can certainly toss them in as well. Some people like to use ground beef and add pasta instead of potatoes, but that would be more of an American Goulash.

Gayle Martin

Hungarian Goulash

2 lbs beef chuck, neck or flank meat
2 tablespoons butter, margarine or drippings
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup water
1/8 teaspoon caraway seed (if desired)
1/2 teaspoon marjoram
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 clove garlic
paprika

Cut meat into 1-inch cubes. Let onion brown in butter, then add meat and let it brown lightly. Add caraway seed, marjoram, salt, chopped garlic and enough paprika to create a noticeable red color. Add 1 cup water, cover and simmer for 2  1/2 hours. Add more water if necessary. Whole potatoes may be added to the goulash 1/2 hour before done. Some goulash recipes call for the addition of tomatoes. Strained tomatoes may be substituted for water in this recipe. Makes 6 servings.

Note: Serve over noodles or your favorite pasta.

For more information about Rosie’s Riveting Recipes please click on the link below for a free preview on Amazon.

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Potato Soup

From the Rosie’s Riveting Recipes historic cookbook

There’s nothing quite like a bowl of hot soup on a cold winter day, and who doesn’t love potatoes?

This classic dish comes from the Rosie’s Riveting Recipes  cookbook, although many of you may have similar versions in your own family recipe boxes.

Gayle Martin

 

POTATO SOUP

  • 2 cups raw potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons margarine
  • 1 tablespoon chopped onion
  • 1 quart milk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • pepper

Chop potatoes fine or grate them. Add potatoes, margarine, and onion to the milk. Cook the mixture over low heat until the potatoes are tender, stirring regularly. By that time the starch from the potatoes will have thickened the milk slightly. Add salt and pepper.

Modern Variation: To give this soup some extra zing try adding bacon, ham, or corn. Butter or olive oil may be used instead of margarine.

 

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How to Make Minestrone

© Can Stock Photo/ robynmac

Minestrone has always been one of my favorite soups, but when I did an online search for recipes I found so many variations it made my head spin. Suffice to say minestrone is one of those dishes intended for using up leftovers, and for that it works quite nicely. I can clean out my fridge and create a tasty dish at the same time. Best of all, it’s never the same twice.

As I created my own version of minestrone I noticed I used a few ingredients consistently. The rest was whatever I happened to have on hand, which is why I’m leaving plenty of leeway on my ingredients list.

Gayle Martin

MINESTRONE

  • 2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter (optional)
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic (optional)
  • 1 cup sliced celery (optional)
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped (optional)
  • 1 or 2 carrots, sliced (optional)
  • 1 small (8 oz) can tomato sauce
  • 2 cups chicken broth or water
  • 1 can garbanzo beans
  • Other leftover vegetables, such as corn, lima beans, chopped zucchini or cubed potatoes
  • 3/4 cup small pasta, such as stars, small shells, or mini farfalle
  • 1 teaspoon salt (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon basil
  • 1 tablespoon parsley
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 package of spinach, fresh, frozen or canned

Heat oil and butter, if desired, in a stock pot and saute the onion, garlic, bell pepper, carrots or celery. Cook for approximately 5 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Add tomato sauce and broth or water. Stir well. Add any remaining vegetables, garbanzo beans, seasonings and pasta. Heat to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for twenty minutes. Add spinach and simmer for another minute or two. Serve with bread, rolls or corn muffins.

For more tasty recipes for using up leftovers please check out my historic cookbook, Rosie’s Riveting Recipes.

 

 

 

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Split Pea Soup

From the Rosie’s Riveting Recipes historic cookbook

© Can Stock Photo/ Yasonya

There’s nothing like a bowl of hot soup on a cold winter’s day, and this recipe from Rosie’s Riveting Recipes is tasty and easy to make. Some dishes simply never go out of style, and this is one of them.

Gayle Martin

SPLIT PEA SOUP

  • 8 oz. cooked cubed ham (about 1 1/4 cups)
  • 1 ham bone
  • 2 1/2 quarts ham stock
  • 1 1/2 cups split green peas
  • 2 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 cup sliced onion
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 6 tablespoons flour

Place ham bone, stock, peas, seasonings and onion in large pan. Simmer 2 hours. Melt butter, add flour and blend. Add a small amount of soup stock and stir until smooth, then stir into soup to thicken slightly. Let cubes of ham heat in soup before serving. Makes 4 generous servings.

Modern adaptation: Ham hocks may be used in place of the ham bone. To make a ham stock boil the ham hocks or ham bones in water for approximately one to two hours. Chicken stock can be added to the ham stock or even used as a substitute for the ham stock. Cornstarch can also be used as a thickener instead of flour.

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Chili con Carne

A wooden spoon stirring chili con carne.
© Can Stock Photo / dbvirago

Who doesn’t love chili con carne? I grew up on canned chili, but trust me, once you get used to eating chili made from scratch, you’ll never want to go back to canned. I know I certainly don’t.

Chili con carne is an amazingly simple dish to prepare. It’s also an easy way to use up leftover veggies. Tastes great on its own, or top it on a hot dog. The following recipe is one that I’ve put together through trial error and tweaking other recipes. One nice thing about chili con carne is that there really is no way to make it wrong.

GM

CHili con carne

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced *
  • 1 8 ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1 4 ounce can diced green chilis
  • 1 16 oz can red kidney beans
  • 1 16 oz can pinto beans
  • 1 cup water or broth
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons cumin
  • 2 tablespoons hot wings or Tabasco sauce
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch.
  • 1/4 cup water or broth
  • salt and pepper to taste

Brown the ground beef, onion and garlic in a small stock pot or kettle until the meat is cooked all the way through. Stir in canned green chilis. Add tomato sauce and 1 cup of water or broth. Stir in the canned beans and add seasonings. Stir cornstarch and water in a small bowl and pour into the chili mixture. Mix well. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for approximately 20 minutes. If desired, top with cheese, sour cream or chives. Serve.

For those who prefer, ground chicken or turkey may be used instead of ground beef. If using ground chicken or turkey, add a tablespoon of cooking oil.

* A tablespoon of garlic powder can be substituted for the minced garlic.

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