Saturday, June 16, 2012

Italian Wedding Soup

Although a catchy name, this soup is not about marriage in the traditional sense. It is meant to show how good it is to pair meat and greens together. Makes a good "marriage", don't you think. Now, I have never been a great fan of eating meatballs, mostly because everyone seems to think the only way to eat them is to smother them in some kind of sweet sauce... I have attempted to make my own on occasion for soups like this before but never really succeeded in anything that had much flavor. My greatest find lately is that Costco has some decent meatballs...much to my husband's delight. I think they taste more like Italian sausage. Yum! It also makes this soup very easy to throw together since they are pre-cooked. (you may want to cut them in half so kids can eat them easier)

2 small garlic cloves, crushed
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped carrots
1/4 cup chopped celery
5 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1/2 cup uncooked ditaloni pasta
10 frozen Italian-style beef meatballs
2 large handfuls of spinach
parmesan cheese
salt and pepper
1 tsp oregano

Saute garlic, onion, carrots, and celery together in the saucepan for 2-3 minutes on medium heat. Add broth and bring to a boil. Add the pasta and meatballs and simmer for 10-12 minutes. Add in oregano and enough salt and pepper for flavor. Add spinach right before serving so it just gets wilted then grate the parmesan cheese on top (just like any good Italian recipe). Don't omit this part. Serves 4

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Kielbasa Soup

Every time I take a bite of this, the nastalgia settles in. The warm comforts of home and memories of my mom's cooking flood into my thoughts. It was often her choice of easy dinners that could sit on the stove (it can stay hot for a long time) on those nights everyone's busy schedule couldn't coincide for a sit-down meal together. My mom would also let us choose what we would have for dinner on our birthday. Since shrimp was costly, my next birthday choice was usually Kielbasa Soup, much to the chagrin of my sisters. I can never eat just one bowl, either.  This odd cool spell in the middle of the week here in Utah was a perfect time to bring it out again. I have altered it just a little from my mom's original version.

8 oz of lean kielbasa sausage, sliced and halved
1/2 small onion, chopped
2-3 small red potatoes, chopped
1 cup chopped carrots
1 can bean and bacon soup
3 cups water
1 cup broth

Boil the onions, carrot, and potatoes in water for 10-15 min until tender. Add the kielbasa, broth and canned soup. Bring back to a boil and simmer until warmed through. Serve with some freshly cracked pepper.