Spinach and Meatball Soup

ItalianWeddingSoupVertbfLOHere’s the deal: I found a recipe for Italian Wedding Soup from Food Network that I wanted to try – BUT – I already had some of my own meatballs stashed in the freezer, along with a goodly amount of turkey stock from last week’s feast. Add to that the fact that, while Woodman’s was seriously deficient in the escarole department, the spinach didn’t look too, too bad; so I decided to use the whole wedding soup thing as a general stepping-off point and forge boldly on in my own direction.

Worked for me; but I thought the ‘traditionalists’ might not care for my claiming it to be ‘Wedding Soup’ – kind of ironic, no?

In any event, call it what you will, this is a quite nice soup for a wedding OR a cold winter’s evening.

•Rich’s mom’s meatballs – I used a mixture of ground beef, chicken and turkey
•2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
ItalianWeddingSoupbfLO•1 shallot, chopped
•3 diced celery ribs
•1 medium carrot, diced
•4 cloves garlic, minced
•1/2 tsp thyme
•1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
•1 lb bag of fresh baby spinach
•8 cups turkey or chicken broth
•1 (14-1/2 oz) can diced tomatoes – I used fire roasted
•Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Take the meatballs out of the freezer and thaw (I used two bags of ten) in the fridge. Bring out to warm up to room temp when you start the soup.

Heat the olive oil in a soup pan and add the shallot, carrot and celery. Cook, stirring, until soft, about ten minutes. Add garlic, crushed red pepper and seasonings and cook for another three minutes or so.

Add the stock, tomatoes and meatballs and bring to a slow simmer. Cover and let bubble away for about ten minutes.

Taste for seasoning and add salt and/or pepper, if desired.

Stir in spinach, just until wilted, and serve topped with freshly shaved Asiago cheese.

We were expecting company for dinner, so I rounded out the meal with a fresh loaf of French bread and roasted beet salad with spiced dressing.

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