Italian wedding soup with giant meatballs
Believe it or not, but Italian wedding soup doesn't have anything to do with marriage, well, in the traditional sense. The name comes from the "marriage" of broth and greens. Also, it's not Italian, with roots in Pennsylvania! Regardless it's delicious, and easy to make at home.
My least favorite part of Italian wedding soup relates to the best part. The meatballs are certainly the best part, but they always sink to the bottom of the pot. Fishing them out, hoping to find a few is not fun at all! Instead in this recipe, I've made them obnoxiously big on purpose. You can't miss them because you shouldn't have to.
1.25 lb. ground pork
1.25 lb ground beef
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons parsley, plus another bundle for simmering
1 medium yellow onion
2 celery stalks
32 oz. sodium-free chicken broth
48 oz. water
1 bunch lacinato kale (~7 stalks)
1 tablespoon salt
Start by roughly chopping two tablespoons of parsley, and dicing your yellow onion, carrots, and celery. Remove the ribs from and slice the kale.
Make the meatballs. To make them, mix together the ground pork and beef, eggs, breadcrumbs, 1/4 of the parmesan cheese, red pepper flakes, and the two tablespoons of parsley.
Using an ice cream scoop, form the mixture into generously-sized 1-inch meatballs. Heat a big dutch oven over medium heat with a thin coating of olive oil. Fry the meatballs until golden on a few sides, but make sure to keep moving them around so they don’t stick. Remove the meatballs and let them rest on a plate.
In the same pan, sauté the diced yellow onion, carrots, and celery. You’ll want around a cup and a fourth of each! You’ll want to scrape up those brown bits from frying the meatballs here. They’re delicious.
Once the vegetables are soft, add the chicken broth, water, and bundle of parsley, stems and all.
Bring the broth to a boil, then fish out the parsley and add the kale, salt and the rest of the grated parmesan cheese. Add the meatballs back into the dutch oven.
Simmer the soup for another 15 minutes to let the meatballs cook through and the kale to wilt.
Enjoy warm with some more grated parmesan on top because you can and you will.