OK, I admit, I’ve been a slug, blog-wise. Sometimes, though, you just have to take a few days away! And, I must also admit that, during this the “foodiest” time of the year, I’ve managed to do very little actual cooking! My entire involvement in the Christmas dinner consisted of preparing the green beans (which were delicious, but oh so easy!) Oh its good to have friends who cook so well!
So, Happy New Year to us all, and I wish you good health, peace, and joy, whatever that may mean in your world. My year has sort of rolled over, food-wise, and happily!
If you have been reading this blog for a while you may remember last New Year’s near thing. If not, well, go see what I’m talking about if you like, and in any event, let me just say that checking the goose carcass and a beautiful big package of goose shmaltz through in a nice strong zippered chill bag with frozen gel packs is the way to go! It traveled just fine in baggage, and it was frozen as hard when I arrived as when I left.
Soup being the order of the day, I thought about some of the soups I enjoyed while on hiatus. I think my favorite was an Italian “Wedding Soup”, and that’s what I’m making with a good portion of this year’s goose stock. Mmmm…
I’ve enjoyed this kind of soup and loved it for years. I have never been to an Italian wedding, but I sort of assumed (yes, bad idea, I know!) that this soup was often featured. Wikipedia set me straight, however. And I’m sure its true because it says so on the Internet (grin).
Anyway, you can certainly make a vegetarian version of this soup, and it would be just fine. I’m looking for something a bit heartier, though, during what is passing for “winter” around here so far. Hey, the weather-folk say it is supposed to “plummet into the 50s” on Monday! Wedding Soup for me!!
Once you have your basic stock it is easy. And, there’s no points taken off for using canned or boxed broth, chicken or even vegetable stock will do fine. I just happened to have a goose carcass…
The basics of a “true” (although I’m sure everyone’s grandmother would say I’m making it wrong) “wedding” soup seems to be meat and veggies and pasta all happy together in one pot. It isn’t a stew, nothing so dense. It is actually remarkable light for all the goodness it contains!
Now again, if you know me you know that I love lamb. I went of on a bit of a tangent for this soup, and I think it makes much more sense to call this version:
Greek Wedding Soup
3/4 lb ground lamb
1/4 C cooked rice
1/2 of a medium onion chopped really fine
1/2 T dried mint (hey, its winter)
the other half of the onion, rough chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 good bunch kale (or spinach or other greens)
1 C (or more) dried pasta*
2 quarts chicken or vegetable or (mmm!) goose stock
1/2 of a fresh lemon
Make small (roughly 1-inch diameter) meatballs using the first five ingredients above. Brown well in a deep Dutch oven, remove and set aside. Add some olive oil to the Dutch oven, add the other half of the onion and sautée until the onion is translucent. Add the garlic and sautée about five more minutes. Don’t let the garlic burn!
Clean and chop the greens, add them to the pot, stir well and cook until the greens are well wilted. Add the meatballs back in, comer with stock and simmer for 1/2 hour. Add the pasta (*small round pasta like Israeli cous-cous is fine or you can have fun with something like alphabet pasta, or you could certainly go gluten-free and use pearl barley, I won’t tell!) and cook until the pasta is ready.
Add the juice of 1/2 fresh lemon (mind the seeds – yikes!) to the pot and stir in just before serving. Enjoy!!
While this soup already contains pretty much all food groups except chocolate, you can add a green side salad, some crusty bread and a nice rough Chianti to round it out. Mmmm….!!
Apologies for not having a better photo of the actual final product – the steam fogged my camera and I didn’t realize it! And, as far as New Year’s resolutions, I promise to try not to be gone for too long at a whack again! Happy happy, y’all!