Friday, January 6, 2012

Italian Wedding soup


Italian Wedding Soup with spinach and barley
Winter is definitely soup season and here is one of the heartiest. My kids call it the meatball soup. A complete meal on its own, this dish consists of chicken broth with some greens (spinach, endive, kale, etc.), meatballs and some form of grain (mostly in restaurants you will see orzo pasta or pastina). Very quick to make and gives tonnes of satisfaction. I used lean minced chicken for the meatballs, spinach as my greens and barley instead of pasta. If you have never tried barley, you are in for a treat. It is slightly nutty with a lot of body and chewy pasta-like consistency. Extremely high in dietary fiber and selenium, it is one of those wonder foods which is not very widely used yet is very good for you. I highly recommend this recipe for this season. Try it out once and you will be hooked.
Ingredients: (serves 6)
For the chicken meatballs

1 lb lean ground chicken
2 tbsp bread crumbs
1 tsp minced garlic
1 egg lightly beaten
handful fresh coriander chopped fine
salt and pepper to taste
1-2 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese(optional)

For the soup
2 tbsp olive oil
1 large red onion chopped fine
2 cloves of garlic chopped fine
1 large carrot diced
2 celery stalks chopped
8-10 cups chicken stock
3/4 cup pearl barley
10 ounces fresh spinach washed and roughly chopped
  1.  Preheat oven to 375 F.
  2. Mix all the ingredients for the meatballs and drop one inch meatballs onto a parchment lined baking sheet.
  3. Bake for 20-30 minutes till cooked thru and slightly browned.
  4. While the meatballs are cooking heat oil in a large stock pot and saute onion, garlic, carrots and celery for 5 minutes till soft.
  5. Add the stock and bring to boil. Add barley and simmer for 15-20 minutes. The barley is just about done at this point. If you are using pasta, cook according to package directions. You might need less stock with pasta as cooking time will be almost half.
  6. Add spinach and meatballs and cook on high for 5-6 minutes till spinach wilts and meatballs take on the flavor.
  7. Ladle soup into bowls and sprinkle with grated Parmesan and serve with fresh rolls.

Italian Wedding Soup serve with fresh rolls


  1. interesting and delicious soup recipe!

    1. Thanks a lot dear. It is one of our favorite.