Italian Wedding Soup

The temps have hit all time lows here in Nashville this week, the perfect time for warm and nourishing soup.

This recipe is from Food Network Magazine.

Substitution made, noted below.

Italian Soup 1

Italian Wedding Soup

1 tblsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 sm onion, finely chopped
3 carrots, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp chopped fresh sage – I used dried sage
3 c fat-free, low-sodium chicken broth
1 Parmesan cheese rind, plus 1 tblsp grated Parm, plus more for topping
1/2 lb ground pork – I used ground chicken
3 tblsp breadcrumbs (preferaly panko)
3/4 c orzo
8 oz baby spinach (about 8 cups)

Heat olive oil in a large pot over med-high heat.  Add the onion and carrots and cook, stirring, until slightly softened, about 4 minutes.  Add half of the garlic and 1 tsp each Worcestershire sauce and sage; cook 1 minute. Add the chicken broth, 3 c water and the Parmesan rind and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce the heat to medium and simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 7 minutes.

Italian Soup 2

Meanwhile, mix the pork, breadcrumbs, 1 tblsp grated Parm, the remaining garlic, Worcestershire and sage in a bowl.  Form into 1-inch meatballs.

Increase the heat to med-high and bring the soup to a boil.  Stir in the orzo and cook 6 minutes.  Add the meatballs and cook until they are firm and float to the top, about 4 more minutes.  Stir in the spinach and cook until wilted, about 1 more minute.  Ladle the soup into bowls and top with Parm.

Italian Soup 3

cartoon-strawberry-9The sage lends a rich flavor to the broth and to the meatballs.  I would cut the orzo down to a half cup, and add in a healthy dash of salt and pepper.  Healthy and hearty soup ready in about an hour!

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African Drumsticks

One of my favorite things is a dinner that is easy to throw together.  Chicken will always fit that bill for me.

This recipe is from Nigella Kitchen.

Substitution made, noted below.

african drumstics 2

African Drumsticks

1/3 c Worcestershire sauce
1/4 c ketchup
2 tsp English mustard – I used 1 tsp yellow and 1 tsp Dijon
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tblsp apricot jam
1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
8 chicken drumsticks
1 tblsp garlic flavored oil – I used olive oil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Mix the Worcestershire sauce, ketchup, mustard, ground ginger, apricot jam, and chopped onion in a shallow dish.

Dunk the drumsticks in this marinade to coat them all over.  (If it helps, you could at this stage leave them to marinate, covered, in the refrigerator overnight.)  Put the oil inot a smallish roasting pan or ovenproof dish, in which the drumsticks will fit snugly, and tip the pan about so that the oil more or less covers the base.  Arrange the drumsticks in the pan and pour over them any remaining marinade.

Cook for 45 minutes to 1 hour, basking once or twice; the deeper the dish, the longer the drumsticks will take to color and cook through.

african drumsticks 3

cartoon-strawberry-9After almost an hour in the oven, the meat just about fell off the bone.  The sauce wasn’t quite what I expected.  It needs some heat (cumin?  red pepper?) or a little smokiness (chipotle?).  It’s a good basic sauce, but needs a little OOMPH to push it over the top.