When I make meatballs for soup I tend to use garlic and onion powder instead of fresh because it's cooking so quickly. I don't want to have any raw chunks of onion or garlic but instead a smooth texture.
Escarole and Mini Meatball Soup aka Italian Wedding Soup
1-2 heads of escarole, leaves separated, washed well and chopped4 carrots, diced
2 stalks of celery, diced
1 onion, diced
3 plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped (or 8 oz can of tomato sauce)
2 bay leaves
3 cans chicken broth and 2 bouillon cubes + water (or use 6 cups of all broth or stock or bouillon)
Salt and pepper, to taste
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 lb 85% lean ground beef
½ cup grated cheese
garlic powder, to taste
onion powder, to taste
1/3 cup Italian Style Breadcrumbs
Saute onion, carrot and celery in oil. Add plum tomatoes and season with Italian Seasoning, Salt and Pepper. When tomatoes start to break apart and let out their juices add chicken broth and bay leaves. Let come to boil and taste. If more flavor is desired and the bouillon cubes. Add escarole and let it cook down into the soup. Meanwhile mix beef, cheese, garlic, onion, egg and breadcrumbs and form mini meatballs. Makes about 20-22 meatballs depending on size. When the soup comes to a boil drop them in and then lower the heat to a simmer. Let cook for about 5-8 minutes until cooked through.
In a separate pot cook ½ lb of pasta in boiling salted water until al dente (do not overcook). Do not add pasta to soup pot or pasta will become mushy, keep pasta in a separate pot with a drizzle of olive oil to keep it from sticking. Serve a ladleful of pasta and 3-4 meatballs with each bowl of soup.
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