Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Quick and Slim Italian Wedding Soup

Two things. Number one. I am discovering that marriage is not only about eating together, living together, supporting each other, loving each other, and occasionally fighting each other...It is also about staying awake together. I am maybe the worlds lightest sleeper. I have to have a HUGE fan on high to drown out noises in the house...the sound of things creaking. Lupe snuffle-snoring. The bed covers rustling. I have to have all of the curtains shut to block out every crack of light. And even with all these precautions, I wake up on average five times a night.
But these days when Nick can't sleep, I can't sleep. And while I am now sitting groggy, and sleep deprived with my mug of coffee and bowl of oatmeal, I'm not feeling badly for myself at all. I'm feeling badly for my husband. Because my job entails mostly just liking children, and encouraging them to love music. Nicks job involves wrangling 8th graders and trying to teach them about the civil war. AND he has to get up at 5:45. I slept it on in till 7:45. Mostly I was having nightmares of lessons that I forgot to go to, but I was still in bed.
this is exactly how glamorous I look when sleeping. 
He is so stressed by all of the things he has to get done, between classes for his masters, work at the farm, and work at the school where he is interning and subbing. And there is nothing I can do. I tried reading to him from the Fellowship of the Ring which is our night-time story right now. I did all the voices. But it didn't help. I lay completely still and tried to breathe in a sleepy/comforting way, but it didn't help. I dozed off here and there through the night, but I don't think he slept at all. What do I do? Herbal tea? Herbal sleeping aids? Does anyone have any ideas?

Anyway. Before the mayhem of the sleepless night, we ate this delicious soup. Which brings me (finally) to my second thing. My constant crock pot use. Maybe I should call this a mostly crock-pot cooking blog, Because I make close to everything in the crock. The working woman's saving grace. If you don't have one, I am sorry. But of course, everything can be made in a pot if you have the evening time, which I do not.

I love Italian wedding soup. Overall, soups are super low in calories, unless its a cream based one. Which is what I spent my teenage years eating. Cheesy cream of broccoli soup? SIGN ME UP! Now I prefer broth based dishes, and I am creative with cauliflower when a soup is supposed to be creamy. Italian wedding soup can get a little laden down with Parmesan cheese, but I kept this one on the lighter side. It's so guilt free that you can totally have a little bit of pie afterwards and some Seans of Maine Indian Pudding ice cream (WHAT!? Yes. My favorite New England classic. In an ice cream.)

Back to the soup.
A light chicken broth packed full with escarole, little turkey meatballs, and tiny pasta-- and topped with some freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Satisfying, delicious, warm. 


2 medium sized carrots
2 stalks of celery
3 cloves garlic
1/2 onion 

48 oz chicken broth
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp herbs de provence
1 tsp salt
2 tsp pepper
1 tsp parsley

1/2 lb ground turkey
1/2 tsp parsley
1 tbs parmesan cheese
1 tbs bread crumbs
salt and pepper to taste

1/2 cup tiny pasta (such as orzo or preferably acini di pepe)
2 cups chopped escarole

Chop up the garlic, onion, celery, and carrot and cook in a non-stick pan with a dab of olive oil and a dash of salt and pepper until the veggies start to soften.
Make the meatballs by combining the turkey, cheese, bread crumbs, parsley, salt, and pepper. Roll the mixture into very petite balls and place on a lightly greased cookie sheet.
Bake them at 375 for maybe ten minutes, or until  they are just cooked through but not yet browned.
Remove from the oven, and make the stock in the crock pot with the Mirepoix  (fancy name for celery, carrots, onion, and garlic), chicken broth, and spices. Add the turkey-balls and cook on high for at least 4 hours. An hour before serving, add the pasta and the escarole to the soup. 

Top it with some cheese, and eat it with a warm, crusty roll. Perfect autumnal meal. 

Today, I am off to revisit Salem. Even though the weather has gone from 65 and gorgeously sunny (yesterday) to dreary, rainy, and chilly (today) I am trying hard not to let it dampen my spirits. This will be a busy week. And today I am going to a baby consignment store in Salem to buy Christmas presents for my handsome nephew. Then I'm having soup at the soup factory with my dear friend. Then I get to work the afternoon away with some of my darling little students.

To brighten your day. 
I cannot WAIT to see this little boy. Just a few more weeks!

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