Italian wedding soup

An Italian-American classic with meatballs. Add pasta for a more filling meal.

  • Preparation Time30 mins
  • Cooking Time30 mins
  • Serves4
  • DifficultyMedium

For the meatballs

2 slices stale white bread, crusts removed
340g minced turkey
20g grated Pecorino Romano, plus extra for serving
10g chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 large egg, beaten
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp salt
Freshly ground black pepper

For the soup

3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil plus extra for drizzling
1 small onion, chopped
1 rib celery, diced
1 medium carrot, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 head escarole (450g), coarsely chopped
1.9 litres chicken stock, homemade or low-sodium tinned
110g chopped tinned plum tomatoes
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1) For the Meatballs: Crumble the stale bread or pulse into crumbs in a food processor. Transfer to a large bowl with 80ml cold water. Add the minced turkey, Pecorino, parsley, egg and garlic. Season with salt and pepper and mix until evenly combined.

2) Using your hands, gently form the meat mixture loosely into meatballs approximately 2cm in diameter. (Packing the meat mixture too tightly together will result in tough meatballs). Put on a baking sheet, cover and refrigerate for at least one hour or up to 24.

3) For the Soup: Heat the three tablespoons of the olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the meat balls and brown, turning occasionally. Transfer meatballs to a platter and set aside.

4) Heat the remaining two tablespoons of oil to the pan and add the onion, celery and carrot. Cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and golden, about ten mins. Add the garlic, thyme, and red pepper and cook for another three minutes.

5) Stir in the escarole and cook until just wilted, about two minutes. Add the chicken stock and tomatoes and bring to a gentle simmer. Return the meatballs to the pot, cover and cook for ten minutes, stirring once or twice. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

6) Ladle the soup into warm bowls. Drizzle over some olive oil and sprinkle a little Pecorino over each serving.

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