I discovered Italian Wedding Soup years ago when there was a sale on either Campbell's Chunky or Progresso soups. I bought flavors indiscriminately that time and ended up with a can or two of this variety. I fell instantly in love. From then on, whenever there were sales, I stocked up.
You'd think that I would have considered making my own, seeings I am such a proponent of homemade foods. Frankly, it never occurred to me, though, until I went to my local stores (three of them) during soup sales and could not find it. Anywhere. There weren't even little price labels on the shelves indicating that maybe my flavor was out of stock. Nope. Smalltown, Arizona has no Italian Wedding Soup!
Left with no alternative, I set out to make my own. If I hadn't had leftover baked potatoes, I would have used little pasta in my version, but frugality won over authenticity. It usually does, darn it. Anyway, the hardest part of making this soup was taking the time to make the tiny meatballs. I suppose making them bigger would have saved time, but I am so used to those cute little things in the store bought versions.
Italian Wedding Soup (makes enough to feed 12)
6 14 ounce cans chicken broth
2 14 ounce cans beef broth
5 large carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
2 stalks celery, thinly sliced
1 small onion, minced
1 bunch fresh spinach, trimmed and coarsely chopped
1 8 ounce package small pasta like orzo, cooked
1 pound ground turkey
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup dry bread crumbs
2 tsp Italian seasoning
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp white pepper
In a medium bowl, combine the turkey, cheese, bread crumbs and seasonings. With your hands combine the ingredients until well incorporated. Form into small balls, the size of marbles and put on a wire rack set in a jelly roll pan (cookie sheet with sides). Bake 12 minutes at 375 degrees. In the meantime, dump the broths, carrots, celery and onion into a large stockpot and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer. When the meatballs are done, put them into the soup pot, too. Simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes. Place the cooked pasta and the spinach into the soup and cook for about 5 minutes more to wilt the spinach.
If, like me, you end up using leftover potatoes, add 5 of them near the end, too; just long enough for the cubes to get thoroughly hot.