March Madness rages on and with it, comes an appetite for the win. I’m one of those GO BIG OR GO HOME kinda guys and if you pick up the right items and get behind the wheel of this soup, you’re bound for victory. I found this recipe a few years ago in an Ina Garten ‘Back to Basics’ cookbook (I’m a stay-at-home dad that cooks) and have made a few tweaks to dial it in, including using Shady Brook Farms turkey.
ITALIAN WEDDING SOUP
FOR THE MEATBALLS:
- 3/4 pound ground turkey (Shady Brook Farms is a GREAT option)
- 1/2 pound turkey sausage (Shady Brook has a great sleeve of this)
- 2/3 Panko bread crumbs
- 2 tablespoons of minced garlic
- 4 tablespoons of chopped fresh parsley
- 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving
- 3 tablespoons of milk
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
FOR THE SOUP:
- 2-3 tablespoons of good olive oil
- 1-1½ cup minced yellow or sweet onion (I use the big sweet one)
- 1 cup diced carrots (approx. 3-4 carrots)
- 1 cup diced celery (approx. 2-3 stalks)
- 10 cups of homemade chicken stock (I use the paste and mix with water, I don’t have time to make my own stock!)
- ½ cup of white wine or white cooking wine
- 1 cup of small pasta aka tubatini or ditalini
- 1/4 cup minced fresh dill
- 12-20 ounces of baby spinach, washed and trimmed
- Preheat oven to 350°
- Place ground turkey, ground sausage, panko bread crumbs, minced garlic, parmesan, parsley, milk, eggs, dash of salt & pepper in a bowl and LIGHTLY combine with a fork.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- With a kitchen spoon, drop 1-inch meatballs onto the sheet – they don’t have to be perfectly rounded, in fact, it’s better if they aren’t. (You’ll end up with about 40 meatballs).
- Bake for appox. 30 minutes.
While the balls are baking, it’s time to get the soup ready.
- Grab a heavy-bottomed stock pot and add your olive oil over medium-low heat.
- Add the onion, carrot and celery and saute 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add the chicken stock and white wine and bring to a boil.
- Add the pasta (I use ditalini) and cook for another 6-8 minutes.
- Add the dill and then then the meatballs and simmer for another minute.
- Add a dash of S&P.
- Stir in the spinach and cook for ONLY another minute and ladle into soup bowls.
- Finish the dish with a little fresh grated parmesan.
- I ALWAYS accompany this dish with some nice crusty bread. Pick up a fresh loaf, slice it, graze with butter or EVOO and a sprinkle of fresh parm – toss it under the broiler for a minute or so and BOOM – people will be talking about this for weeks.
This is one of my favorite soups to make and I’m always sad when March comes around – it’ll probably be the last time I make it until September. Good food doesn’t have to break your budget! This dish is great for entertaining and will have your neighbors banging down your door for more. I used Shady Brook Farms ground turkey and turkey sausage for this and it really made a HUGE difference.
For more information about Shady Brook Farm (FROM MY HOMETOWN STATE!) check them out here, on Facebook and Instagram. And for a shot at winning $250, submit YOUR best turkey recipe between now and March 27th to http://lifeofdad.com!