View Full Version : ISO the Italian Wedding Soups

11-02-2003, 01:27 PM
I want to make an Italian Wedding soup, and am seeking the advice (which I've come to rely on) of all you cooks. I'm not putting this in the November soup thread, because it's a slightly different topic.

I've got three recipes in front of me, and I am confused.

They all are very similar - meatballs in a chicken broth, but from there the variations begin.

The first is from the fall Penzys (the one with the lovely ;) chicken picture on the cover). It also calls for spinach and orzo, with Bouquet Garni and garlic as the main spices.

The next is from CuisineAtHome, it includes 1 cup of ham and celery, carrot, onion and garlic in the broth. It also calls for one can of white beans, and eggs added at the end.

The third one is from Cooking Light (called Poipettee and Orzo in Broth), it is the simplest one, with carrot and orzo as the additions.

Can anyone tell me their experiences with this soup? I'm leaning toward a combination of Penzys and CL - spinach and orzo. However, I'm not sure about the seasonings.

Help! :confused:

11-02-2003, 02:48 PM
I have never seen ham in an Italian Wedding Soup, so that sort of spooks me.

This is very TNT. I have served it to friends and everyone I know loves it.


* Exported from MasterCook *

Italian Wedding Soup

Recipe By :Lorna Sass
Serving Size : 6 Preparation Time :0:00
Categories :

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
3/4 pound extra lean ground beef
2 tablespoons parmesan cheese
1 large egg
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups onions -- coarsely chopped
4 tablespoons tomato paste
8 cups broth -- chicken and/or beef
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
3 large carrots -- halved lengthwise,
cut 1/2 inch
1/2 cup pastini
1 1/2 pounds escarole -- trimmed, coarsely
1 cup Parmesan cheese -- freshly grated

In a large bowl, combine the ingredients for the meatballs by blending them
with your hands. Shape the mixture into bite-sized balls, each a little smaller
than 1/2 inch in diameter. Set aside.

For the soup, heat the oil in the cooker over medium-high heat. Cook the
onions, stirring frequently, for 2 minutes. Blend in the tomato paste and cook
for an additional minute, stirring constantly. Add the broth and herbs, taking
care to scrape up any browned bits sticking to the bottom of the cooker. Add
the carrots. Over high heat, bring to a boil.

When the broth is boiling, add the pastini. Lower the heat to medium, Then
gently drop the meatballs into the broth a few at a time. Set the escarole on
top. (Don't be concerned that the cooker will be filled almost to the brim; the
escarole will shrink dramatically as the cooker comes up to pressure.)

Lock the lid in place. Over high heat, bring to high pressure. Reduce the heat
just enough to maintain high pressure and cook for 1 minute. Quick release the
pressure by setting the cooker under cold running water.

Stir gently. With a slotted spoon, remove one meatball. Slice it in half and
check that it is cooked throughout. If not, simmer the broth, uncovered, over
medium heat until the meatballs are done, 1 to 2 minutes more.

Adjust the seasonings and serve in large bowls. Top each portion with a
generous sprinkling of Parmesan cheese.

""The Pressured Cook""

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 303 Calories; 18g Fat (51.2% calories from fat); 22g Protein; 16g Carbohydrate; 5g Dietary Fiber; 82mg Cholesterol; 807mg Sodium. Exchanges: 0 Grain(Starch); 2 1/2 Lean Meat; 3 Vegetable; 2 Fat.

Nutr. Assoc. : 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

11-02-2003, 03:13 PM
I've only made the following recipe for this soup. It was wonderful but there as many variations of this soup as there is for meatloaf so I won't be much help with your choices...

Italian Wedding Soup
Recipe courtesy Rocco Despirito

Prep Time: 20 minutes Cook Time: 10 minutes
Yield: 6 to 8 servings

8 cups homemade chicken broth
3/4 pound ground beef
3/4 pound ground pork
3 eggs, plus 5 eggs
1 cup dry bread crumbs
2 teaspoons dried basil
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1/2 cups grated Parmesan, plus 1 cup
2 medium heads escarole, cleaned and chopped

In a separate pot over medium heat, bring the broth to a boil. In a separate large bowl, combine the ground beef, ground pork, 3 eggs, bread crumbs, basil, parsley and 1/2 cup Parmesan. Mix well and form into bite-size balls. Drop the balls into the broth. Add escarole into broth. When meatballs rise to the top, they are cooked, about 6 to 7 minutes. When escarole is wilted it is done. In a separate bowl, combine the remaining 5 eggs with the remaining 1 cup of cheese. Pour this mixture into the soup, stirring continuously, until the egg is cooked.

11-02-2003, 03:29 PM
Okay, again, I don't go by a recipe on paper and this is the way my grandmother and her mother before her made it.

When I make chicken stock for this soup I probably make about 4 to 5 quarts .Clean two good size heads of escarole, steam the escarole until wilted; drain; cool; between your hands take a good size of escarole and squeeze water out until the escarole is almost dry. Do this to all the escarole and then chop it really fine. Ahead of time, I have made tiny meatballs and browned them in a skillet. The meatballs can be made and frozen if you wish for future use. They should be very small...about the size of a marble which is probably about the size if the tip of your thumb (1/2 teaspoon maybe). My meatballs are made with beef, breadcrumbs, been , egg, parmesan cheese, basil, salt and papper and a good grating of nutmeg. Add meatballs and escarole to soup and heat until the meatballs are cooked through. Remove from heat and add slices of hard boiled eggs...about 4 or 5 (my family has always had this garnished as part of the soup). Serve with Parmesan Romanno cheese. We don't add pasta to this soup unless we want to stretch it as leftovers the next day or so.

I make this soup a few times during the winter and especially at Christmas time which has been a tradition for years.

Enjoy! ;)

11-02-2003, 03:39 PM
Originally posted by semmens
I have never seen ham in an Italian Wedding Soup, so that sort of spooks me.
:p Spooked me too Laura!

Thanks so much, these are all so excellent, and much closer to what I was hoping for.

I find it very interesting that escarole is used in all three recipes. Is escarole Italian?

11-02-2003, 04:50 PM
Originally posted by JA
I find it very interesting that escarole is used in all three recipes. Is escarole Italian?

From the American Heritage Dictionary


NOUN: A variety of endive (Cichorium endivia) having leaves with irregular frilled edges and often used in salads.
ETYMOLOGY: French, from Old French scariole, from Late Latin scriola, chicory, from Latin scrius, of food, from sca, food, from edere, s-, to eat.

and from the encylopedia at 1upinfo.com:

chicory[chik´urE] Pronunciation Key or succory[suk´urE] Pronunciation Key, Mediterannean herb (Cichorium intybus) of the family Asteraceae (aster family), naturalized in North America, where the tall stalks of usually blue flowers are common along waysides and are known as blue-sailors. It is extensively grown in Europe for its root, which, roasted and powdered, is used as a coffee substitute and adulterant. Chicory is also used as a potherb and salad plant; the common type that is blanched for salads is witloof, or French endive. True endive (C. endivia), a salad vegetable since antiquity, is cultivated in several broad-leaved and curly-leaved varieties. It is also called escarole. Chicory is classified in the division Magnoliophyta, class Magnoliopsida, order Asterales, family Asteraceae.

11-02-2003, 05:32 PM
Don't use chicory in place of escarole. Chicory is bitter.

11-02-2003, 07:20 PM
Why not throw this one into the mix! The meatballs are ground turkey, so this recipe is lighter than those using beef and pork.

* Exported from MasterCook *

Italian Wedding Soup

Recipe By :
Serving Size : 2 (large bowls!)

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
1/4 pound ground turkey breast
3 tablespoons fresh bread crumbs (finely crumbled)
1 large egg white
1 scallion -- finely minced
1 tablespoon grated parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 garlic clove -- crushed
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon olive oil

1 medium onion -- finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 pound escarole -- cut crosswise into 1/2" strips
28 ounces fat-free chicken broth
1/3 cup orzo

Heat oven to 350F. Combine ground turkey breast through olive oil. Form into 1" diameter balls. Place meatballs in a single layer in a baking pan that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Bake for approximately 12-15 minutes, or until browned. Remove from pan.

In a large heavy saucepan, cook the onion and rosemary in oil over low heat; stirring until onion is softened. Add escarole, turn heat up a bit, and cook for 1 minute. Add broth and orzo and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add meatballs to soup, cover partially, and simmer for 5 minutes.

Serve with additional grated Parmesan, if desired.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Per serving: 318 Calories (kcal); 7g Total Fat; (16% calories from fat); 41g Protein; 37g Carbohydrate; 37mg Cholesterol; 1110mg Sodium
Food Exchanges: 1 1/2 Grain(Starch); 2 1/2 Lean Meat; 2 Vegetable; 0 Fruit; 1 Fat; 0 Other Carbohydrates

11-03-2003, 03:25 AM
delicious and easy to make! We just had this recipe two weeks ago!