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Italian Wedding Soup

I was looking for a quick and easy soup to stash in the fridge for this weekend that everyone could grab a bowl of whenever hungry.  After a quick peek in the freezer and veggie drawer I located everything I would need for Italian wedding soup.  I love fennel sausage in my wedding soup but if your family is not a fan of that flavor just opt for a plain sweet Italian sausage. I also use turkey for half the meat in my meatballs to save on the calories but ground chicken, beef or pork would also work perfectly. This soup will only taste better after a day or two in the fridge.

Meatballs

½ lbs ground turkey

3-4 Italian sausage with fennel, removed from casings

1 egg

1 medium onion, diced fine

¼ cup Italian bread crumbs

2 cloves garlic crushed or micro planed

1 tbsp olive oil

1 tsp salt

1 tsp ground black pepper

Soup

4 carrots, chopped

6 ribs of celery, chopped

3-4 onions, chopped

2-4 cloves garlic crushed or micro planed

Olive oil

2 tbsp Italian spice blend or mix of basil, oregano, and parsley

Salt and pepper to taste

6-10 cups chicken broth/stock

2-3 cups small pasta like tubetini or Orzo

1 bunch leaf green like kale, spinach, or Swiss chard, chopped

Parmesan cheese to garnish

Pre heat your oven to 350 degrees. Start by making the meatballs.  Mix together all the ingredients for the meatballs and make evenly sized meatballs and place them on a baking sheet. I use a small scoop to keep them all the same size.  Bake for about 20-30 minutes until cooked through and slightly browned. Set aside.

For the soup start by softening the veggies in a large soup pot with a drizzle of olive oil until onions are clear. Then add garlic and spices. You can use a good premade Italian spice blend or your own favorite mix of herbs.

Add the chicken stock; if you have homemade, this is a great recipe to use it in as you will really taste the broth in the final product.  Let simmer for at least 30 minutes.

Stir the pasta into the soup and let cook for 10 minutes or until the pasta is tender. Add the meatballs in the last 5 minutes and the chopped greens in the last 1-2 minutes.

Serve with crusty bread, a sprinkle of parmesan, and drizzle of good olive oil on top.

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