07 Sep Escarole and Orzo Soup with Meatballs
This comforting soup is a classic from Southern Italy better known to most as Italian Wedding Soup. I couldn’t help deviating a bit from the standard recipe. My version is a little less brothy with the addition of fresh tomato and a bit more orzo to make it a more satisfying meal. This is also a great way to showcase that escarole you may not know what to do with. You can also use swiss chard or kale as a substitute if you prefer.
Escarole and Orzo Soup with Meatballs
-Make meatballs by combining in a large bowl:
1 pound of ground beef (or turkey, pork or veal if you prefer)
1/4 cup of plain breadcrumbs
1 egg, beaten
2 cloves of garlic, finely minced
1/2 white onion, grated (set other half aside for later)
a handful of fresh parsley
1/4 cup of fresh grated Parmesan or Pecorino cheese
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
-Form small bite-size meatballs (about the size of large grapes) and then place on a plate in the fridge to chill for a half hour. **I only used about 3/4 of the mixture and froze the rest for later use.
-In a large pot, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil and dice the other half of the onion and 2 medium carrots. Saute until onions are translucent.
-Add 8 cups of veggie or chicken stock and bring to a boil. Add 1 cup of orzo and 1 cup fresh, chopped tomato. Simmer for 8 minutes.
-Gently add in the meatballs and simmer for another 10 minutes.
-Rough chop 4 cups of escarole and add to the soup. Cook for 5 more minutes at a simmer.
-Add more stock or water to get the consistency you want. Salt and pepper to taste.
-Garnish with a little Parmesean cheese and ENJOY!
**Serves 4 as a main dish. Can be cooked ahead of time and reheated before serving.
Recipe and photos by Jana Smart- Blooming Glen Farm employee and frequent creator of creative recipes using farm fresh seasonal ingredients. Check out more of her recipes on her food blog http://www.agrarianeats.blogspot.com/