Italian Wedding Soup with Sausage Meatballs & Cheesy Pesto Bread
45g of Protein

Italian Wedding Soup

with Sausage Meatballs & Cheesy Pesto Bread

45 MIN
4 Servings
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From the Test Kitchen

The dish that likely inspired modern-day Italian wedding soup was called “minestra maritata,” or “married soup”—so named for the traditional combination of robust greens and meat in chicken broth. Our version features fresh spinach and juicy sausage meatballs paired with a hearty broth that boasts an abundance of flavor from aromatic rosemary, savory chicken demi-glace, and more.

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Dietary Information

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45g Of Protein
  • Nutrition
    PER SERVING
  • Calories
    960 Cals (est.)
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fresh
ingredients
Italian Wedding Soup with Sausage Meatballs & Cheesy Pesto Bread
Title
  • 20 oz Hot Italian Pork Sausage
  • ½ lb Orzo Pasta
  • 2 Small Baguettes
  • 6 oz Carrots
  • 3 oz Baby Spinach
  • 1 bunch Rosemary
  • 4 oz Shredded Fontina Cheese
  • ¼ cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 1 oz Salted Butter
  • 2 cups Chicken Bone Broth
  • 5 Tbsps Chicken Demi-Glace
  • 3 Tbsps Basil Pesto
  • 1 Tbsp Italian Seasoning (Whole Dried Basil, Sage, Oregano, Savory, Rosemary, Thyme & Marjoram)
Prepare the ingredients
1 Prepare the ingredients

Remove the butter from the refrigerator to soften. Place an oven rack in the center of the oven; preheat to 450°F. Fill a medium pot 3/4 of the way up with water; cover and heat to boiling on high. Wash and dry the fresh produce. Pick the rosemary leaves off the stems; finely chop the leaves. Halve the baguettes. Peel the carrots; halve lengthwise, then thinly slice crosswise.

Form & brown the meatballs
2 Form & brown the meatballs

In a bowl, combine the sausage and Italian seasoning. Gently mix to combine. Shape the mixture into 25 to 27 tightly packed meatballs (about 1 tablespoon each). In a large pot, heat a drizzle of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the meatballs in an even layer. Cook, without stirring, 4 to 5 minutes, or until lightly browned. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes, or until browned on all sides. Leaving any browned bits (or fond) in the pot, transfer to a plate.

Cook the pasta
3 Cook the pasta

Meanwhile, add the pasta to the pot of boiling water. Cook, stirring occasionally, 8 to 10 minutes, or until tender. Turn off the heat. Drain thoroughly.

Make the soup
4 Make the soup

To the pot of reserved fond, add the sliced carrots (if the pot seems dry, add a drizzle of olive oil). Cook on medium-high, stirring occasionally, 3 to 4 minutes, or until slightly softened. Add the spinach and chopped rosemary. Cook, stirring frequently, 3 to 4 minutes, or until combined and the spinach is wilted. Add the browned meatballs, broth (carefully, as the liquid may splatter), demi-glace, and 2 cups of water; season with salt and pepper. Stir to combine; heat to boiling on high. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low. Simmer, stirring occasionally and scraping up any fond from the bottom of the pot, 3 to 4 minutes, or until the meatballs are cooked through.* Turn off the heat. Add the cooked orzo; stir to combine.

Make the cheesy pesto bread & serve your dish
5 Make the cheesy pesto bread & serve your dish

Meanwhile, in a bowl, combine the softened butter and pesto; using a fork, mash to combine. Line a sheet pan with foil. Transfer the halved baguettes to the foil, cut side up. Evenly top with the pesto butter and half the fontina (you will have extra). Bake 7 to 9 minutes, or until lightly toasted and the cheese is melted. Carefully transfer to a cutting board; halve on an angle. Serve the soup topped with the parmesan. Serve the cheesy pesto bread on the side. Enjoy!

Tips from Home Chefs

Prepare the ingredients
1 Prepare the ingredients

Remove the butter from the refrigerator to soften. Place an oven rack in the center of the oven; preheat to 450°F. Fill a medium pot 3/4 of the way up with water; cover and heat to boiling on high. Wash and dry the fresh produce. Pick the rosemary leaves off the stems; finely chop the leaves. Halve the baguettes. Peel the carrots; halve lengthwise, then thinly slice crosswise.

2 Form & brown the meatballs

In a bowl, combine the sausage and Italian seasoning. Gently mix to combine. Shape the mixture into 25 to 27 tightly packed meatballs (about 1 tablespoon each). In a large pot, heat a drizzle of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the meatballs in an even layer. Cook, without stirring, 4 to 5 minutes, or until lightly browned. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes, or until browned on all sides. Leaving any browned bits (or fond) in the pot, transfer to a plate.

Form & brown the meatballs
Cook the pasta
3 Cook the pasta

Meanwhile, add the pasta to the pot of boiling water. Cook, stirring occasionally, 8 to 10 minutes, or until tender. Turn off the heat. Drain thoroughly.

4 Make the soup

To the pot of reserved fond, add the sliced carrots (if the pot seems dry, add a drizzle of olive oil). Cook on medium-high, stirring occasionally, 3 to 4 minutes, or until slightly softened. Add the spinach and chopped rosemary. Cook, stirring frequently, 3 to 4 minutes, or until combined and the spinach is wilted. Add the browned meatballs, broth (carefully, as the liquid may splatter), demi-glace, and 2 cups of water; season with salt and pepper. Stir to combine; heat to boiling on high. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low. Simmer, stirring occasionally and scraping up any fond from the bottom of the pot, 3 to 4 minutes, or until the meatballs are cooked through.* Turn off the heat. Add the cooked orzo; stir to combine.

Make the soup
Make the cheesy pesto bread & serve your dish
5 Make the cheesy pesto bread & serve your dish

Meanwhile, in a bowl, combine the softened butter and pesto; using a fork, mash to combine. Line a sheet pan with foil. Transfer the halved baguettes to the foil, cut side up. Evenly top with the pesto butter and half the fontina (you will have extra). Bake 7 to 9 minutes, or until lightly toasted and the cheese is melted. Carefully transfer to a cutting board; halve on an angle. Serve the soup topped with the parmesan. Serve the cheesy pesto bread on the side. Enjoy!

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