Italian Wedding Soup
- 1 pound ground beef, preferably grassfed
- 1/2 cup shredded zucchini and/or finely grated carrots
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1&1/2 tsp dried parsley
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1 egg, preferably from pastured hens
- 3/4 tsp celtic sea salt
- 1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
- 2 Tb butter, preferably from grassfed cows
- 1 medium white onion, chopped
- 3 medium carrots, chopped
- 2 stalks celery, chopped
- 6 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade (it is fine if there is some fat in the stock)
- 1/2 cup vermouth* (or just use more chicken stock)
- 1/2 tsp dried dill
- salt and pepper
- 3 big handfuls of baby spinach, washed well and trimmed
- Optional garnish: freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- Combine all of the meatball ingredients in a large bowl. Mix with your hands or a spoon until well-combined.
- Melt the butter in a 4-qt heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and a sprinkle of salt. Saute for about 10 minutes, reducing the heat if necessary and stirring occasionally. It is fine if the onions get a little caramelized color while cooking. Then add the chopped carrots and celery, season with salt and pepper, and saute for 8 more minutes. Keep the heat just high enough to keep the water released from the veggies from accumulating in the pot. Stir occasionally.
- While the veggies cook, roll the meatballs. They should be small and bite-sized. Roll the meatballs between your palms to make them nice and round, then set them aside on a plate or cutting board. There should be about 40 meatballs.
- Deglaze the pot by pouring in the vermouth. Let it cook down a few minutes, and then add the chicken stock to the pot. Bring to a boil and skim off any foam (which should be discarded). Add the dried dill and season with salt and pepper. Reduce the heat to keep a simmer going.
- Drop the meatballs into the simmering chicken stock. If necessary, push the meatballs down into the liquid. Cover the pot and simmer for 15-18 minutes.
- Taste the broth and season with salt and pepper as needed. Drop the spinach into the pot and cook for 1 minute, until it is just wilted. Turn off heat.
- Ladle into bowls and serve! If you like, sprinkle some freshly grated Parmesan cheese on top. This soup would be fabulous with Cheesy Bread!