With winter and flu season in full effect, it’s important to stay warm and healthy, especially at the beginning of a new semester. Soup is the ultimate winter comfort food and the perfect meal to eat when you’re feeling under the weather. This week’s recipe, Italian wedding soup, is not only absolutely delicious, but also healthy and easy to make. It’s similar to a chicken noodle soup, but there are meatballs and tinier pieces of pasta. After a long day of dealing with the freezing temperatures and wind of Storrs, this soup will warm you right up.
For the meatballs:
3/4 pound of ground chicken
1/2 pound of chicken sausage, casings removed
1/2 cup of panko bread crumbs
1/3 cup of freshly grated parmesan
2 teaspoons of dried oregano
3 cloves of minced garlic
1 large egg
Pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
Freshly ground black pepper
For the soup:
2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1/2 of a medium onion, chopped
2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
2 stalks of celery, chopped
2 teaspoons of freshly chopped thyme
8 cups of low-sodium chicken broth
3/4 cup of small dry pasta (such as acini di pepe or tubetini)
4 cups of baby spinach
2 tablespoons of freshly chopped dill, for garnish
In a large bowl stir ground chicken, chicken sausage, bread crumbs, parmesan, oregano, garlic and egg until combined. Season with salt, pepper and red pepper flakes. Form into meatballs approximately one inch in diameter to make about 22 meatballs. In a large Dutch oven or stock pot over medium heat, heat one tablespoon of oil. Cook meatballs in batches until the outsides are golden and the insides are cooked through. Remove from pot. Heat remaining oil and add onion, carrots, celery and thyme. Cook until fragrant and starting to soften, which should take about three to four minutes. Add chicken broth and bring up to a boil. Add pasta and meatballs and lower to a simmer. Simmer until pasta is cooked, roughly five to seven minutes. Stir in spinach and cook until wilted, which should take about one more minute. Garnish each bowl with dill and more parmesan and serve.
Melissa Scrivani is the associate life editor for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.