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Italian-style meatball soup

Italian-style wedding soup (Food styling/Sheryl Julian, Lisa Falso; Wendy Maeda/Globe Staff)
December 9, 2009

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Serves 4 with leftovers

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
2 celery ribs, sliced
10 cups chicken stock
1 cup ditalini or other tiny soup pasta
15 meatballs, halved
Leftover spaghetti with sauce clinging to it (if you have some), snipped several times with a scissors
Salt and black pepper, to taste
Crushed red pepper, to taste
4 large handfuls baby spinach or chopped regular spinach
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan (for sprinkling)
1. In a soup pot, heat the olive oil. Add the onion, carrots, and celery. Cook, stirring often, for 8 minutes or until the vegetables soften.

2. Add the stock and bring to a boil. Add the ditalini or soup pasta. Return to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer for 6 minutes.

3. Add the meatballs, spaghetti and sauce, if using, salt, black pepper, and red pepper. Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes or until the meatballs are hot.

4. Taste for seasoning and add more salt or pepper, if you like. Add the spinach and cover the pan. Let the spinach wilt in the hot liquid for 1 minute.

5. Ladle into bowls and sprinkle with Parmesan. Lisa Zwirn