There is this little Italian restaurant that was in my home town where I grew up in sunny Southern California that made an amazing Italian wedding soup. Perfect little meatballs simmered in a flavorful broth with just the right veggie, meatball, broth ratio. It was always one of my favorite soups, and was always the perfect lunch to have on a cool day, which was rare considering the location.
But now I am transplanted to Wyoming where just last week we skipped fall and went right into winter with a blizzard that dumped over two feet of snow on us. And while the snow has mostly melted the weather is definitely crisp and cool and perfect for cozying up to a bowl of soup. The hardest part of this recipe is making the meatballs. Not because they are hard to make, just a little time consuming. My husband is actually the one who made this recipe for dinner. I am one of those rare lucky ladies who’s husbands enjoy cooking and share the meal preparation just about 50/50 with me. I am blessed. And I hope you will be blessed too when you taste this amazing soup!
Crock-Pot Italian Wedding Soup
1 lb. lean ground beef or turkey
1 egg, slightly beaten
1/4 cup seasoned Italian breadcrumbs
1/4 cup Italian parsley, chopped
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
6 cups chicken broth
1 medium onion, diced
3-4 medium carrots, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
2 cups escarole
2 bay leaves
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup acini di pepe pasta
1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated (for serving)
- In a medium bowl combine ground beef/turkey, egg, bread crumbs, parsley, oregano, basil, salt, pepper & parmesan cheese until well mixed.
- Form meat mixture into very small meatballs.
- Place meatballs on cookie sheets and place in refrigerator for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, combine the rest of the ingredients except escarole, acini di pepe pasta and remaining parmesan cheese in a 6 quart crock-pot.
- Gently add chilled meatballs to the soup mixture.
- Cover and cook on LOW for 7 1/2 hours.
- Add acini di pepe pasta and escarole to the soup and cover and cook an additional 30 minutes.
- Serve in bowls topped with additional parmesan cheese.