Wednesday, September 4, 2013

It's the Season of Soup!

I love Fall for so very many reasons: the leaves changing from green to red and orange and yellow, the temperature cooling down enough to wear my very favorite clothes (t-shirt, jeans and a hoodie) and of course because of the delicious Fall flavored foods (apple cider, pumpkin pie and SOUP!). Here in Austria, soup is akin to breathing. It is almost impossible to sit down at a restaurant without ordering soup before your main dish. The soups here are to die for, so I have jumped on board the soup train! One of my favorite Austrian soups is K├╝rbiscremesuppe, or pumpkin cream soup. Within the next few weeks our house will be filled with the aroma of pumpkin cream soup. Best of all, we are getting the pumpkins fresh from my mother-in-law's garden! That recipe will be coming up soon!

This week I have been all about the Italian Wedding Soup. With the weather changing, I have come down with a little cold. Nothing makes a scratchy throat feel better than a nice hot bowl of soup or a nice hot cup of tea. I'd been drinking tea to my heart's delight all weekend long and when that didn't do the trick it was on to the cure all - a nice, fresh pot of soup. I decided to make Italian Wedding Soup because it is a nice, flavorful and hearty soup AND because Alexa can eat everything in it, so two birds, one stone. I looked up recipes online and decided, as usual, to wing it.

Total time: 5-10 minutes prep, 45-50 minutes
(Tip: Make the meatballs first, it cuts down on the overall cooking time)

For the soup
1 1/2 liters Vegetable Stock
2 large carrots, washed, peeled and sliced
1 onion, peeled and sliced
1 tsp. minced garlic
2 Tblspn. scallions, chopped
2 tsp. dried parsley
dash of garlic powder (I really like garlic)
dash of pepper
dash of chili powder
1/4 cup parmesan cheese (plus extra for serving)
1 1/2 Tblspn. Italian seasoning
Spinach (I used 3 blocks of frozen spinach)
1/2 cup star noodles

Heat the vegetable stock in a large pot on medium heat. Add the carrots, onions, garlic, scallions and all of the seasonings. Let simmer for at least 30 minutes (I brought the contents to a boil and then covered the pot and put the stove on simmer setting for like 2 hours).

For the meatballs
200 grams/ 1/2 pound of ground meat
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
2/3 cup bread crumbs
2 Tblspn. milk
1 egg (As I had all of the ingredients mixed together I realized that I had no eggs in the house, the meatballs came out fine eggless!)
1/2 tsp. minced garlic

Mix all the meatball ingredients together and then place on a cookie sheet and bake for 25 minutes in a 350F degree oven.

After your soup has simmered for a while, heat up the frozen spinach in the microwave, easily chop it and add it to your soup. Then, add the cooked meatballs and cook at a low-medium heat for 5-10 minutes. Add the star noodles and cook on medium heat for 8 minutes. Voila! You made Italian Wedding Soup! Enjoy!

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