Italian Wedding Soup. Named after the melding flavors of greens and meat simmered together in a soup. Nothing to do with weddings in Italy, despite what New Jersey residents may believe.
Variations of the recipe come from the west coast regions of Italy, usually involving meat of some sort, greens, and a clear broth. Sometimes with pasta, cheese, and other soup ingredients.
So basically Italian Wedding Soup is just a fancy way of saying 'Soup'.
As usual, the traditional recipe has been bastardized in America, thinned out, and regulated to side dish or appetizer status. Probably to make room for all the other plates served at New Jersey weddings.
This whole meal was Jillian's vision and creation. She is here mixing up some eggs for the meat in our nice clean kitchen.
Meat here is turkey. Very raw, to be mushed together with parm cheese, parsley, bread crumbs, eggs, and some other powdered spices. Take this and roll them into meatballs
Meat balls. Balls of meat. Ive made meatballs before without the eggs and it has a tendancy to disintegrate as it cooks. Ground meat has only three good options: embraced as ground meat, rolled into balls with eggs, or bound by casings.
All the while we got Jills brother Zack sitting here enjoying some 'Crazy Peanuts' with chopsticks. Zack just moved to the 'burg and aims to achieve peak sitcom status, dropping into the apartment without asking, getting to say perfectly timed comic one-liners, and having lots of wacky adventures off-camera.
Fit as many of those there meatballs on a tray with some foil and put it in the oven, 500F.
On the side, start getting the broth going. This here is two quarts of broth from Meat Hook, with some chopped onions and other random veggies tossed in.
Remember. This is the 'marriage' part of the Italian Wedding soup. Chop up and toss in any greens veggies you have. Grab that kale that's been kicking around. Fight the rot. Embrace the bottom of the drawer. Start rooting for those root vegetables. Consummate it all together in the soup.
We got some pasta as well in here. Did you go for the Barilla blue box? Might as well ask if the wedding has a paid bar. Not for this one nope this is top tier Rummo bagged macaroni. The open bar of wedding soup pasta. Im sure it made all the difference in the world.
There was a comic relief moment when we needed some lemon zest, and couldnt find the real zester. So we broke out the novely shredder and tried to see its magic with the lemon. Jillian is showing us the effectiveness in realtime here.
The real zester. Add the lemon juice in the soup as well. Why not.
Bring out the meatballs once they are tinged with a bit of color and drop them into the soup.
The other member of the party was George the Dog. Always close to the action, looking like he has never been fed a day in his life. Hoping, waiting, dreaming of the meatballs that dont make it in the pot and end up on the floor instead.
Jillian showing off the final product after a quick meld of it all in the pot.
No idea why I didnt add the parmesan to the bowl here for myself.
Serve with some bread on the side to mop up any broth you didnt get, or at least get a division of texure between soft mushy soup and crusty semi burnt bread. Pretty sure that butter was ice cold as well. Trust me no one likes ice cold butter with their wedding.
No one except George that is. Follow the food George. Use those eyebrows what they were made for and wait for the scraps of food to fall in your maw.
Obligitory pics of the end of the meal with enough for at least a couple meals afterwards.
Any meal where you didnt end up with decent leftovers is barely a meal at all. Barely worth the effort. Embrace the leftovers, use the bottom of that drawer.