Category Archives: Soups

Italian Wedding Soup

This Italian Wedding Soup made with chicken is light and healthy, but so delicious with buttery Parmesan and a bit of fresh lemon.

I’ve always imagined a wedding in an old Tuscan villa, nestled perfectly between green hillsides dotted with rows of grapevines and gardens. The bride, wearing the dress of her mother’s and her grandmother’s before her, dancing happily with her new husband and surrounded by their families. Cheering, laughing, drinking and eating. Eating Italian Wedding Soup—

Nope…

This soup has nothing to do with my dreamy wedding fantasy! I mean, it’s not even remotely romantic. Long ago, someone named this wedding soup to represent the marriage of meat and green vegetables. Sigh. You know I love food, but come on!

I have so many versions of this soup. My family loves them all, but after eating this one recently, my husband said this one was the best soup I’ve ever made! (I married a very smart man, you know!) I’ve adapted the traditional wedding soup by using ground chicken breast to lighten things up. You could make this with ground meat or sausage. You can add some small pasta like Acini de Pepe or some more veggies like carrots and celery. But, this simple version…is really wonderful. Because it’s so simple, the broth is so important. There are some soups you can get away with using canned broth. Not this one. Homemade broth makes this soup really special.

This Italian Wedding Soup made with chicken is light and healthy, but so delicious with buttery Parmesan and a bit of fresh lemon.

Italian Wedding Soup

1 egg
1/2 small onion, grated (about 1/3 C. grated)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 t. kosher salt
1/4 t. black pepper
1/8 t. nutmeg
1/4 C. whole grain breadcrumbs
1/4 C. Parmesan, grated
1 – 2 T. fresh parsley, finely chopped
1 lb. ground chicken breast

12 C. chicken or vegetable broth
1 lb. escarole, sliced
1 egg
2 t. Parmesan
black pepper
1 lemon, sliced in wedges

In a medium bowl, beat the egg. Add the onion, garlic, salt, pepper, nutmeg, breadcrumbs, Parmesan and parsley. Stir to combine. Add the ground chicken and stir again to mix well.

Place a large pot over high heat and add the chicken broth. Cover the pot and bring to a boil while you form the meatballs.

Using a one tablespoon cookie scoop or measuring spoon, scoop the mixture and level it completely against the side of the bowl. Release the scoop in your hand and roll into a meatball. Place the meatballs on a large dish or a baking sheet. Continue until the mixture is done. You should have about 36 or so meatballs. (See Notes for a great tip!)

Once the broth has come to a boil, gently drop the meatballs into the pot then add the escarole. Cover the pot with the lid slightly ajar and allow the broth to return to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer for about 20 minutes.

In a small bowl, whisk the egg, Parmesan and black pepper. Stream the mixture into the soup while whisking the broth to create threads of egg. Continue simmering for one or two more minutes.

Serve the soup in bowls with lots of freshly grated Parmesan and a wedge of lemon.

Serves 6.

Notes:

  • Escarole is one of my favorite healthy dark greens! It’s got a mild flavor, yet it’s got the nutritional impact that a lot of those more bitter dark greens have. Escarole is high in fiber, antioxidants and a fantastic source of Vitamins A and C.
  • I’m not terribly squeamish in the kitchen, but when working with ground poultry, I always use thin, food grade vinyl gloves for making chicken or turkey meatballs. The texture of ground poultry is vastly different than ground meat. It can be very sticky and hard to work with. The gloves completely solve that problem.
  • Don’t forget the lemon for serving! It makes all the difference!

 

This Italian Wedding Soup made with chicken is light and healthy, but so delicious with buttery Parmesan and a bit of fresh lemon.

Corn Chowder

Corn Chowder - creamy, rich and warming with just a touch of crumbled bacon for a salty, smokey kick!

My husband isn’t nearly as funny as I am. Well, I mean, it doesn’t really come naturally to him as it does for me (wink, wink). So, when the man thinks he’s said something hilarious, it’s almost as if he files it away in a folder marked, “My Best Material” and he pulls it out over and over and over again. I’m telling you. He is so lucky he’s as cute as he is.

Whenever I make soup for dinner, he sits at the table, eats the soup, enjoying every last bit of it. Then, as he sets the spoon into his empty bowl, he asks, “So, what’s for dinner?”

Ugh.

The fact that he has this adorable “I’m so funny, I can’t stand it!” smirk on his face is the only thing that stops me from giving him a soup facial! No, I just look over at my daughter, who simultaneously does an eye-roll with me…and we just ignore him. He doesn’t seem to mind. It’s never stopped him from laughing for a full minute or two..all by himself.

Chowder is the soup to make when you want soup, but you also want something filling for those who have an issue with “soup for dinner”. I try to serve it with a warm baguette or some hot biscuits, or maybe a salad. This chowder can certainly stand on its own. It’s so hearty and warming. I love the balance of sweetness from the corn and the saltiness from the bacon. You can most certainly leave the bacon out. In fact, this can be a wonderful vegan soup, just follow the notes below.

How about you? Do you love soup for dinner?

Corn Chowder - creamy, rich and warming with just a touch of crumbled bacon for a salty, smokey kick!

 

Corn Chowder

3 T. butter
1 sweet onion, diced
1 medium carrot, sliced
2 stalks celery, diced
3 T. all purpose flour
1 bay leaf
1 sprig fresh thyme, leaves removed
6 C. vegetable broth or chicken broth
3 to 4 (about 1 lb.) yukon gold potatoes, peeled and diced
24 oz. package frozen whole kernel corn
1 C. non fat milk
salt and pepper to taste
6 slices bacon, cooked until crisp

Special equipment: Immersion blender

In a large heavy pot over medium high heat, melt the butter then add the onions, carrot and celery. Reduce the heat a bit and cook until onion and celery has softened. Do not allow the vegetables to brown. Add the flour, bay leaf and thyme leaves and continue to cook for about two minutes. Add the broth and the potatoes, give it a stir and cover the pot. Increase the heat bringing everything to a boil then reduce the heat to low. Simmer for about 20 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. Add the corn and bring the pot back up to a simmer. Simmer five more minutes, then stir in the milk and remove from the heat. Season with salt and pepper to taste, if needed.

Using a heat resistant measuring cup, scoop out about 2 cups of the soup. Using an immersion blender, blend the soup in the measuring cup carefully. Be sure the cup is roomy enough to avoid splattering. You can also use a blender, just allow the soup to cool a bit. Once pureed smooth, pour the mixture back into the pot and stir to combine.

Serve in bowls garnished with 1 slice of crumbled bacon per bowl.

Serves about 6.

Notes:

  • To keep this soup vegan, use olive oil in place of the butter, vegetable broth and non dairy milk for the non fat milk and, of course, omit the bacon.