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Italian Wedding Soup



ITALIAN WEDDING SOUP
Au Bon Pain Copycat Recipe

Makes 6-8 servings

Meatballs:
3/4 pound ground beef, 90 percent lean
3/4 pound ground veal or pork
2 eggs
3/4 cup plain bread crumbs
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon kosher salt
freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Broth:
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 yellow onion, diced
2 medium carrots, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2-3 sprigs fresh thyme
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 heads escarole, coarsely chopped
1 cup canned imported plum tomatoes, coarsely chopped
6-8 cups rich chicken stock
1 cup uncooked acini di pepe pasta (also known as soup mac)
Pecorino romano cheese

In a large bowl combine all eight meatball ingredients and mix well. Let rest for 15-20 minutes then form small olive-size meatballs (about 30). Set aside for later use. In a large soup pot over medium heat, add the olive oil and meatballs. Lightly brown, turning occasionally. Transfer to a platter and set aside.

Add the onion, carrots and garlic to the pan and stir occasionally until soft and golden. Add in the escarole and cook until just wilted. Add the thyme, crushed red pepper, chicken stock and plum tomatoes and bring to a simmer, slowly cook for about 10-12 minutes

Add the meatballs and the pasta and bring back to a simmer, cook for about 6-7 minutes or until the pasta is tender. Remove the fresh thyme sprigs and let soup rest a few minutes before serving.
Serve heaping ladles of soup in oversized soup bowls and garnish with freshly grated Pecorino-Romano.

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