Happy New Year to all! I hope you all had wonderful holidays. While I hate to see the Holiday season come to a close, I must admit that I am always ready for some detox and renewal when January 1st comes around. Nothing says this better than soup. I made lentil soup (recipe can be found on blog) January 1st (Italian good luck); Minestra e fagioli soup (also found on blog) last night; and tonight I am going to make this Italian escarole and tiny meatball soup, which I made recently, and frankly, forgot how much I love this soup. To be honest, I have never made this soup, and my recollections of it come out of a Progresso Soup can. How embarrassing!
Recently my son asked me about this soup. He had bought it at the soup bar at Whole Foods and loved it, and wondered why I don’t make this regularly. Not to be outdone by Whole Foods (especially when it comes to my son’s culinary desires), I decided to hunt for a recipe. Before I could even do so, a bowl of this delicious soup appeared before me at a dinner party at my sister-in-law’s house one evening. What a coincidence! I asked her for the recipe and being the terrific cook that she is, I was able to outdo Whole Foods! Why this unexplained competition with Whole Foods? I’m not sure, but I believe it’s the containers of frozen soup in the freezer that keep my grown children stopping by. It’s a small price to pay for a visit. I just wish they’d return the containers!!
Happy renewal and a wonderful 2014!!
RECIPE: about 6 to 8 servings
6 quarts homemade chicken broth ( of course it can be store bought)
2 medium heads of escarole ( heads of escarole really vary in size, so it should weigh about 2 lbs)
3 carrots, chopped
1 1/2 pound ground veal or beef (definitely love the veal meatballs for this soup)
2 large eggs, beaten
1/2 cup finely minced onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup breadcrumbs
1 cup grated pecorino Romano cheese
1 tsp salt
pepper to taste
1. Prepare the broth, if making home-made.
2. Wash the escarole well and rip into large bite-size pieces.
3. In a large pot, combine the broth, carrots and the escarole. Bring to a simmer and cook for 15 to 20 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, prepare the meatballs, by mixing all the ingredients in a large bowl. Shape into tiny, bite size meatballs, and place on a platter.
5. When the escarole is tender (about 15 to 20 minutes), gently add the meatballs one at a time into the soup.
6. Cook over low heat, covered for about 20 minutes, until meatballs are cooked through. Taste for seasonings.
7. Serve hot with the grated cheese.