December 9, 2014

This year for a holiday party, I’ll be making Italian Wedding soup. I’ll keep it warm for guests in a round, silver chafing dish with convenient cup-size bowls and spoons alongside. Shredded Parmesan cheese makes for a perfect optional topping. A complementary pairing to the soup is our Windsor Oaks 2012 Reserve Chardonnay. The hints of honeysuckle, hazelnut and rich layers of vanilla will be the perfect pairing to this robust, seasonal soup.ITALIAN WEDDING SOUP


¾ pound ground chicken
½ pound chicken sausage, casings removed
2/3 cup fresh white bread crumbs
2 teaspoons minced garlic (2 cloves)
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
¼ cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese
¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving
3 tablespoons milk
1 extra-large egg, lightly beaten
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons good olive oil
1 cup minced yellow onion
1 cup ¼-inch diced carrots (3 carrots)
¾ cup (1/4 diced celery (2 stalks)
10 cups homemade chicken stock
½ cup dry white wine
1 cup small pasta (orzo)
¼ cup minced fresh dill
12 ounces baby spinach or escarole, washed and trimmed (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Place the ground chicken, sausage, bread crumbs, garlic, parsley, Pecorino, Parmesan, milk, egg, 1 teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper in a bowl and combine gently with a fork. With a teaspoon, drop 1- to 1 1/4 –inch meatballs onto a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. (You should have about 40 meatballs.) They don’t have to be perfectly round. Bake for 30 minutes, until cooked through and lightly browned. Set aside.

Heat the olive oil over medium-low heat in a large heavy-bottomed soup pot. Add the onion, carrots, and celery and sauté until softened. 5 to 6 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the chicken stock and wine and bring to a boil. Add the pasta to the simmering broth and cook for 6 to 8 minutes, until the pasta is tender. Add the fresh dill and then the meatballs to the soup and simmer for 1 minute. Taste for salt and pepper. Stir in the fresh spinach or escarole (optional) and cook for 1 minute until just wilted. Ladle into soup bowls and sprinkle each serving with extra Parmesan cheese.

Culinary pleasures and entertaining with friends and family, refreshes the soul, revives the spirit and makes new memories.



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