Italian Wedding Soup

Yields: 6 Servings

Ingredients

Broth

  •  1 onion, chopped
  •  1 fennel bulb, stalks discarded, bulb halved, cored, and chopped
  •  4 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
  •  ¼ ounce dried porcini mushrooms, rinsed
  •  4 ounces ground pork
  •  4 ounces 85 percent lean ground beef
  •  1 bay leaf
  •  ½ cup of dry white wine (alternative: grape or apple juice with white wine vinegar)
  •  1 T. Worcestershire sauce
  •  4 cups of low-sodium chicken broth
  •  2 cups of beef broth
  •  2 cups of water

Meatballs

  •  1 slice heart white sandwich bread, crusts removed, torn into 1-inch pieces
  •  5 tsp. heavy cream (alternative: milk)
  •  ¼ cup of grated Parmesan
  •  4 tsp. finely grated onion
  •  ½ tsp. finely grated garlic
  •  Salt and pepper
  •  6 ounces ground pork
  •  1 tsp. baking powder
  •  6 ounces lean ground beef
  •  2 tsp. minced fresh oregano
  •  1 cup of ditalini pasta (alternatives:  orzo or tubettini)
  •  12 ounces kale, stemmed and cut into ½-inch pieces (6 cups)

Instructions

  1. FOR THE BROTH: Heat onion, fennel, garlic, porcini, pork, beef, and bay leaf in Dutch oven over medium-high heat; cook, stirring frequently, until meats are no longer pink, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add wine and Worcestershire; cook for 1 minute. Add chicken broth, beef broth, and water; bring to simmer. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes.
  3. FOR THE MEATBALLS: While broth simmers, combine bread, cream, Parmesan, onion, garlic, and pepper to taste in bowl; using fork, mash mixture to uniform paste.
  4. Using stand mixer fitted with paddle, beat pork, baking powder, and ½ teaspoon salt on high speed until smooth and pale, 1 to 2 minutes, scraping down bowl as needed.
  5. Using moistened hands, form heaping teaspoons of meat mixture into smooth, round meatballs; you should have 30 to 35 meatballs. Cover and refrigerate for up to 1 day.
  6. Strain broth through fine-mesh strainer set over large bowl or container, pressing on solids to extract as much liquid as possible. Wipe out Dutch oven and return broth to pot. (Broth can be refrigerated for up to 3 days. Skim off fat before reheating.)
  7. Return broth to simmer over medium-high heat. Add pasta and kale; cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Add meatballs, return to simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until meatballs are cooked through and pasta is tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve.
Source: cooksillustrated.com