The man of the house is working today, and it’s a lazy Sunday for the women of the house! I’m blogging, drinking tea, catching up on DVR’d shows, doing laundry and relaxing before a busy week, and Stella has assumed her usual Sunday position beside me, snoring on the couch. I am planning to wake her lazy, furry butt up soon to go for a walk. It’s a beautiful, sunny day – but it’s still FREEZING! Spring is almost here, but it sure doesn’t feel like it! The weather network says we’re sitting at MINUS FOUR. Can you believe it?! I’d settle for 0 C at this point, but -4 C! I just can’t. Thankfully I’m heading to some warmer parts for a business trip this week. We have a jam-packed schedule, so I don’t think I’ll be soaking up the sun too much, but it sure will be nice to escape these chilly temps for a few days!
I realized after I was almost done writing this that it’s St. Patrick’s Day! I think my dad’s mom has some Irish roots, but my red-headed hubby (who actually has Scottish heritage) is about my closest Irish connection. So, while all of you lads and lassies are celebrating your roots, here’s a recipe that’s far from Irish, but celebrates my roots!
On cold Sundays, I crave warm dishes that fill my house with comforting smells. I made Italian Wedding Soup a couple of Sundays ago, on a day similar to this, and it was a perfect Sunday meal. This recipe (and the beautiful soup tureen to accompany it!) was given to me by my mom’s first cousin, Linda, at my wedding shower last summer, and I was so excited to finally try it. It was super simple and so satisfying!
Start by heating a tablespoon of olive oil in a large pot, and adding a finely chopped onion and three finely chopped carrots (I used a handful of baby carrots). Cook for about four minutes, until the onion starts to brown.
Add one clove of finely chopped garlic (or half a teaspoon of minced garlic from my beloved Costco jar!) and two teaspoons of sage, and cook for about a minute. Don’t overcook the garlic – a minute is perfect to release the fragrance of the garlic.
Start to build the soup base with three cups of chicken broth (or three chicken stock packets and three cups of water, which is what I did). Add in half a cup of parmesan cheese or one parmesan cheese rind. If you buy a brick of parmesan, don’t throw away the rind! I often use mine in soups or add them into my tomato sauce. The flavour it gives is unreal. Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce heat and cook for about 7 or 8 more minutes.
While your soup is simmering, start the mini pork meatballs that make this soup truly filling and pleasing. If you’re not a fan of pork, use ground beef instead! In a large bowl, mix half a pound of ground pork, three tablespoons of breadcrumbs and a clove of garlic, finely chopped. I also added about a tablespoon of parmesan. Form into one-inch meatballs and set aside.
When your meatballs are formed, increase the heat of your soup to medium-high. Add in three quarters of a cup of small, round pasta. I used orzo, because it’s what I had on hand, but you could any variety of small, round pasta.
Cook for about six minutes, then add your meatballs. Let them cook for about four or five more minutes, until they are firm and float to the top. If you added a parmesan cheese rind, scoop it out and discard it now before it’s too hard to fish out.
You’re almost done! Stir in eight ounces (half a large container) of baby spinach. I had to do this in batches. The spinach wilts down beautifully, and brings the dish together.
Ladle into bowls and serve with a hunk of crusty bread.
This soup was delicious, and like so many soups, was almost better the next day because all of the flavours had melded together even more. Recipes like this with a long list of ingredients can be intimidating, but the majority of these ingredients are fridge and pantry staples. It all came together in under an hour, and made the house smell fabulous! I typically am more of a fan of creamier soups, but a bowl of this gave me the same warm feeling. Easy and pleasy. 🙂
Well, I’m off to get started on my laundry, and to drag the lazy white furball beside me out for a walk! Have a great Sunday!