1/12/14

italian wedding soup (crockpot version)

I've always somehow equated Italian Wedding Soup with ton's of steps, which is an instant turn-off to me.  I'd rather order it out.
So I found this recipe on TheKitchn for an easier-looking (should that be a term) for italian wedding soup.  I say easier because as I read it, it seemed far easier than some others I've read through.
Reading through it I thought, why can't we do this in a crockpot?  Has it been done in a crockpot?
Oh I'm sure it has, but I wanted to give it a go.
Also, I have one of those crockpots that is smaller, a 2.5-quart one, made for serving two people I think?  It looks like this.  Do you have one?  If so, then this recipe is for you!  If you don't, then just use the recipe measurements from TheKitchn recipe or you can just make this one in your normal crockpot.
Sometimes you just want to cook for two anyways right?
I've found a great way to keep those little meatballs nice and crisp.
Don't fry em, bake em.  They stayed brown and semi-crispy after sitting in soup all day.
Doesn't the meatball in this photo look good?  Those panko crumbs really helped to keep the meatball brown and slightly crispy in soup all day.
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It's a fairly easy recipe, I changed a few things around to make it easier since I didn't want to sit by the oven and add this in, wait, then add that in and wait. OY
With my recipe, I just sautéed the onions & garlic in the crockpot for an hour before adding everything; I did this while I made the mini meatballs.  When meatballs were done, I added in the chicken stock, the escarole, and the meatballs, and let it do it's thing.  Five hours later, just before serving, I added in the egg and cheese slurry.  Mmmm.  Yes indeed.
Then it was ready to serve!  Easy right?
Follow along....
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First hour, sautee the onions and garlic in olive oil (on high) while you make and bake the meatballs.
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I made a lot of meatballs for a smaller crockpot, but we noshed on a few....
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After the meatballs are done, add the chicken stock, escarole, seasonings, meatballs and cook away on low for five hours.
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When ready to serve, turn crockpot on high, get it nice and hot, then add in the egg and cheese slurry, mix. Put cover back on and let it cook another 15-20 minutes to let slurry set up.
Serve with lemon wedges, extra cheese, and bread. So easy right?
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This just might become your new favorite winter soup! It's light but hearty. Filling but not food coma filling.  And you get a semi-healthy meal out of it.  Great way to use escarole, which btw I rarely use. At first I thought, a lemon wedge into the soup?  But after trying it I saw how well it complimented the soup.  Tasty tasty.  You will love this.  Also, feel free to swap out beef meat for chicken or turkey meat.
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italian wedding soup (in the crockpot)
based on this recipe from The Kitchn
print recipe

1 pound ground meat (85% lean)
1/2 cup panko crumbs
2 large eggs, room temp
1/2 cup grated Romano cheese, divided
3/4 cup SHREDDED Parmesan cheese, divided (might need extra for garnish)
1-2 ts oregano
2 TB  olive oil
1 small or medium yellow onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups (or more?) cups chicken stock (I used about 2.5- 3 quarts)
2-3 cups of escarole, rough chop (seems like a lot, but it will shrink when cooked)
salt & pepper
For the garnish:
Red pepper flakes
Lemon wedges (1 or 2 lemons)

Cook notes:
I used a small crockpot; I think mine is a 2/5 – 3 quart one.  If you have a larger one and want to make more soup then click on the link above to get the larger quantity version and keep in mind my changes in ingredients.  I used panko crumbs and they did help keep the meatballs crisp—I’m certain.  Also I used shredded parmesan cheese instead of grated to help “crisp” up the meatballs.  Look for it if you can, if not just use grated.
Turn crockpot on high, place the olive oil in the bottom, let it heat it, add in the onions and garlic, and let this sauté a bit while you make the meatballs.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Combine the ground meat, bread crumbs, 1 egg, 1/4 cup of Romano cheese, 1/2 cup of shredded parmesan cheese, oregano, salt and pepper in a bowl. Mix thoroughly, form the mixture into 3/4-inch -1-inch balls. You should have 20 to 30 meatballs, depending on how large you form them. Place meatballs on parchment lined baking sheets, making sure not to let them touch, as we want to crisp up the edges good.  Bake for about 15-20 minutes--If that? When meatballs are done, drain them on paper towels to absorb any excess fat.
Meanwhile add in the chicken stock to the crockpot, add in a bit of salt and pepper, add in the escarole, then add in the meatballs.  I turned my crockpot to low, and let it cook for four to five hours.  My low setting on my crockpot is fairly hot.  I wouldn’t suggest putting it on high for five hours unless your crockpot runs low and very slow.  You just don’t need high for a light soup.
When ready to serve, combine the remaining 1 egg and remaining cheeses in cup and stir with a fork to blend. Slowly pour the egg mixture into the hot soup, stirring constantly. Cover and simmer just until egg bits are set, about 15 minutes? Serve in bowls, sprinkle with a pinch of red pepper flakes and a squirt of fresh lemon juice.
Serve immediately.  I served with sourdough bread and extra parmesan cheese.
Should make 3 large servings or 4 smaller ones

22 comments:

  1. I am totally into putting EVERYTHING in the crockpot lately!! Loving this Italian wedding soup. Now once I perfect my veggie meatballs, I have a way to use them up!

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  2. I don't do nearly as much crockpot cooking as I should. This looks totally wonderful! Super job - thanks.

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  3. Looks so good- one of my favorite soups.

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  4. Yes, these meatballs definitely look GOOD! This is making me crave soup right now... :)

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  5. this soup looks super! crockpot soups are the best :)

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  6. I love wedding soup! Great idea to make in the crockpot.

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  7. I've never had Italian wedding soup, but this looks amazing! I need to make this asap!

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  8. Sometimes I just want to cook for one! But I could eat two servings of this, so I guess it works out. HNY GREG

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  9. I love italian wedding soup - little meatballs are so delicious!

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  10. I have yet to own a crockpot but this makes me want to get one! Perfect combo of flavors!

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  11. So yummy. Never made Italian Wedding soup. Got to, just b/c the name is so sweet!

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  12. This soup is calling to me!
    My melancholy reaches its peak in January and February...sometimes it'll spring on me mid-summer too, but this time of year is almost unbearable. Thank goodness for comfort food (and whisky!). :D

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  13. That soup looks so comforting and delicious! Something I would love to try.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  14. What a tasty soup! Perfect for these cold winter days!

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  15. I'm loving lemon in soup right now, and I've never made wedding soup, so I have to try this now.

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  16. looks wonderful love anything with meatballs too

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  17. This weddingsoup looks incredible!

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  18. Love your soup! Saw Ina make something like this a while back and wanted to try it but never did. I did make something from Cathy's Noble Pig blog...also had sausage meatballs in it. Haven't posted it yet.
    It's cold down here, soups are perfect for lunch AND dinner.

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  19. I love Italian Wedding Soup and while I love a "fool with it all day" soup, it's nice to have an easier version on hand too - it looks so good!

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  20. ooh, love this soup, yet i have never made it before?! need to change that :)

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