Wedding Soup

The name of this soup is a misnomer: it is not served at weddings; instead, the name refers to the "wedding" of meat, pasta, and vegetables in this soup. I love it because it's hearty enough to be satisfying but not so heavy it makes me sleepy.

1/2 pound ground beef
1/2 pound ground pork
1/4 cup grated romano
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1 egg
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon coarse kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano (or 1 teaspoon chopped fresh)
2 large carrots, diced
4 ribs celery with leaves, diced1/2 gallon chicken stock
1/2 bunch kale, thinly sliced and washed
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
Kosher salt, to taste

1 cup acini di pepe or stelline pasta, cooked to al dente and rinsed

In a medium bowl, mix all of the meatball ingredients until blended.
Cover and refrigerate while making the rest of the soup.

In a large stockpot, heat the oil over medium heat until hot. Add the
onion and garlic and stir just until the onion is translucent. Add the
oregano, carrots, and celery and saute for about 2 minutes. Season
with salt, add the chicken stock and bring just to a boil. Turn down
the heat and let the soup just barely simmer while you make the

Line a baking sheet with waxed paper or parchment. To make the
meatballs, scoop out rounded teaspoons of the mixture and roll them
between your palms to make smooth balls. Place them as you form them
on the lined baking sheet.

Bring the soup up to a real simmer. Add the meatballs to the soup a
few at a time and and let the soup simmer until they are almost cooked
through, about 8 minutes. Add the kale and simmer about 5 minutes more.

Stir in the parsley and taste for seasoning.* Just before serving, add
the pasta.

*The soup can be prepared up to this point a day ahead. Refrigerate
until cold, then cover. Reheat before adding the pasta.

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