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Italian Wedding Soup

The consensus among food historians is that this soup has nothing to do with wedding ceremonies. Instead, the name is based on a loose translation of minestra maritata, which means “married soup” in Italian—a reference to the fact that green vegetables and meats go well together. When you taste this hearty soup, we’re sure you’ll agree.

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 quarts low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 4 carrots, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1/2 Tbs. plus 1 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1 bunch kale, stems removed, leaves cut into thin strips
  • 1 lb. ground pork
  • 1 small yellow onion, minced
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus more for serving
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs
  • 1/2 tsp. salt, plus more, to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper, plus more, to taste
  • 2 Tbs. vegetable oil
  • 1 can (15 oz.) white beans, drained

Directions:

In a 5-quart Dutch oven over medium-high heat, combine the broth, water, carrots, the 1/2 Tbs. garlic and the kale. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer until the carrots are tender, 30 to 40 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the ground pork, onion, the 1/2 cup cheese, the eggs, bread crumbs, the 1 tsp. garlic, the 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. pepper. Mix briefly with your hands. Form the mixture into 1-inch balls and place on a plate.

In an electric skillet set on medium-high heat, warm the oil. Working in batches, add the meatballs and cook until browned, about 5 minutes per side. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate.

Add the meatballs and the white beans to the soup and simmer until the meatballs are cooked through, about 15 minutes. Adjust the seasonings with salt and pepper. Ladle the soup into warmed bowls and serve immediately. Pass grated cheese at the table. Serves 10.

Williams-Sonoma Kitchen.