As you’re probably well aware…Kara and I are pretty obsessed with Giada. I DVR her shows, I have her cookbooks, I follow her on Twitter, I like her on Facebook and when she comes to the Taste of Chicago each summer you can bet I’m there trying to squeeze through people to get a glimpse of my idol. Sometimes I imagine how amazing it would be to work with her…like quit my job, move to California and somehow get a job on the set of Giada At Home. That would be awesome!! Then we’d become pals and do yoga together. Jeesh! I’m in la la land.
Reality check. For now I’ll stick to drooling over her recipes and trying them out for myself. Her recipes never let us down and this one’s no exception. I’d been wanting to make Italian Wedding Soup for awhile and when I’m in search of an Italian recipe, she is the first person I turn to.
I read a bunch of reviews and saw a few suggestions to brown the meatballs first to prevent them from falling apart when you add them to the broth. So that’s the way we tried it. To be honest, when we make this soup again I think I will try it exactly as Giada has written. I’m not saying our way was bad…I’m just not convinced that it’s better than her version. I wrote the recipe exactly as we tried it (which also included the addition of orzo), but you can easily add the meatballs to the broth uncooked. I love soup when it’s cold outside and this is one I’d definitely make again!
For the Meatballs:
1 small onion, finely diced
1/3 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
1 large egg
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
1 teaspoon salt
1-2 slices fresh white bread, crust removed and torn into small pieces
½ cup grated Parmesan
8 ounces ground beef
8 ounces ground pork
freshly ground black pepper
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
For the Soup:
12 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 pound curly endive, coarsely chopped
2 large eggs
1 cup orzo (or other small pasta)
2 tablespoon grated Parmesan, plus extra for garnish
salt and freshly ground black pepper
First make the meatballs. Add the first 6 ingredients to a large bowl and mix together. Add the cheese, beef and pork and blend with your hands. Shape the mixture into 1-inch diameter balls, about 1½ teaspoons each. Place on a baking sheet. Heat 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet and brown the meatballs, a few at a time. They do not need to be cooked through. Place the browned meatballs back on the baking sheet.
To make the soup, bring the chicken broth to a boil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the meatballs and endive and simmer until the meatballs are cooked through and the endive is tender, about 8 minutes. Add the orzo a couple minutes after the endive, giving it about 8-10 minutes to cook. Whisk the eggs and cheese in a medium bowl to blend. Stir the soup in a circular motion. Gradually drizzle the egg mixture into the moving broth, stirring gently with a fork to form thin stands of egg, about 1 minute. Season the soup to taste with salt and pepper.
Ladle the soup into bowls and serve. Top soup with parmesan cheese, if desired.
Source: adapted from Giada de Laurentiis