Monica and Daria say:
Everyone has an idea of their perfect comfort food. Maybe it’s chicken and dumplings, mac ‘n cheese, or apple pie.
We have several….and one of our favorites on this “National Homemade Soup Day” happens to be Italian wedding soup!
“For me, it reminds me of my Aunt Kate,” says Monica. “She raised my Dad when he lost his Mom as an infant, and she really was more of a Grandmother to me and my sisters, than an aunt. The fact that this wonderful Italian woman lived right down the street when we were growing up, impacted our relationship. And best of all, she was a great cook!”
“Italian wedding soup will always remind me of snow days!” says Daria. “Since my Mom was a school librarian, she would have off when we did, and our ‘jammy days’ were celebrated with lots of cooking, baking and great food. We absolutely loved our ‘next-doors’ and would exchange our snow day creations with them (they were cooking and baking, too) and just play and eat all day! Such great memories!”
We have our Aunt Kate’s “original” Italian wedding soup recipe, which she called “Chicken Endive Soup” but had to update it when we became gluten-free. And remember, she was Italian and cooked by instinct, so it was more “a little bit of this and a little bit of that!” We really had to try and pin down the amount of each ingredient!
So the recipe we present here is based on the original and even though it’s gluten-free, it has the same flavor profile.
Italian Wedding Soup
For soup base:
1 medium onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
4 carrots, peeled and sliced into rounds
2 celery stalks, chopped into bite-size pieces
6 chicken cutlets (thick-cut) or 2 chicken breasts (we use organic), cut into bite-size pieces
3 boxes of chicken broth (32-oz.); low sodium/no MSG (we use College Inn)
2 cups of additional chicken broth (use Herb Ox chicken packets to season)
For bite-sized meatballs:
1 lb. ground chuck
½ cup gluten-free breadcrumbs
3 T Locatelli (Pecorino Romano) grated cheese
1 large egg, organic
1 bag fresh baby spinach (8 oz.)
1 cup Schär Anellini gluten-free pasta
3 large eggs, organic
2 T Locatelli (Pecorino Romano) grated cheese
Chop all ingredients for soup base first. Then in a large stock pot, sauté onion and garlic in 1-2 T of olive oil until fragrant on medium heat.
Add carrots and celery and continue to sauté for a few minutes while stirring every so often.
Next add chopped chicken and sauté until each piece is slightly browned on all sides.
Now add the 3 boxes of chicken broth and the additional 2 cups of broth. Season with salt and pepper. Stir until combined and cook for at least ½ hour.
In the meantime, mix the bite-sized meatballs by combining the ground chuck, gluten-free breadcrumbs, grated cheese, and egg until well combined. Roll the mixture into small balls and place on a plate.
Turn up the heat a notch to a rolling boil, and place the meatballs into the pot. Stir and let cook for 5 minutes. The meatballs will become nice and brown.
Lower the heat now to low, cover, and let the soup cook for at least one hour to allow the flavors to infuse.
Now it’s time to add the pasta!
Increase the heat to medium and place pasta into the pot. The pasta will only take a few minutes to cook, so keep an eye on the soup and when you are satisfied with it, turn it down to low. Cover and add the washed baby spinach and let it wilt. Keep soup on low heat.
Right before serving
Beat 3 eggs with a fork and add 2 T grated cheese into it. Beat until combined. Add this mixture into the soup on low heat now and stir constantly for 3-5 minutes.
Ladle soup into large bowls and serve with gluten-free bread of your choice.
Have additional grated Locatelli cheese on hand for your family and guests to add to their delicious bowl of soup!
Note that the original endive was replaced with fresh baby spinach. Spinach provides more vitamin A and protein, so it seemed a logical choice!
The pastina (tiny pieces of pasta) was replaced with gluten-free Anellini pasta by Schär….perfect for our soup!
We hope you try making this great soup and realize that it really isn’t that hard!
It’s so worth the effort!
© 2015, Monica & Daria of glutenfreedoubletalk