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Italian Wedding Soup with Grilled Cheese and Bacon on Sourdough

I made Italian Wedding Soup a couple months ago for a church lunch, and it turned out to be so good that we decided to have this for our Christmas dinner on Wednesday. From the online research I did, IWS seems to be an empty-the-cupboard soup with only four common ingredients – chicken stock, meatballs, leafy greens, and Parm cheese.

So here is my version of IWS this time around:

ingredients

  • 7-8 Cups homemade stock* (about half of it was a vegetable stock and the other half was chicken stock. The first batch a few months ago was made with turkey stock and it was outstanding.)
  • 1 medium onion, medium dice
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 medium carrots, sliced on bias
  • 1 bag of frozen meatballs. One of these days I’ll make my own, but the store-bought stuff is fine (especially the Italian meatballs) and a lot quicker. I usually cut these at least in half so the kids don’t wrestle with them while they are swimming in broth.
  • 1 Cup orzo
  • 1/2 bag frozen spinach (probably about 8 oz-the rest of the bag is back in the freezer and I don’t want to get up and look at it to see the exact size. sorry)

directions

  1. Soften the onions in a splash of olive oil, then add garlic. Deglaze with some white wine.
  2. Add frozen meatballs and stock. Simmer at least till meatballs are heated (duh). You can let this simmer for several hours without any problems.
  3. About 15 minutes before dinner, add the orzo and turn heat to medium. After 8 minutes add the spinach and wait a few minutes till spinach is warmed through (duh).
  4. Add salt to taste.
  5. I forgot the Parm Cheese this time. Add this at the end. If you have a rind from the real cheese you can add this to the soup as it simmers. With our budget we use the green can stuff.

I like my soups really thick. A lot of IWS’s are more brothy. Needless to say, you can adjust things as you would like.

*if you have an extra freezer get in the habit of making your own stock. It is ridiculously easy to make, you can control the ingredients (ie. salt), and the store-bought stuff is ridiculously expensive.

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