Foodie, Main Eats, Soups

Italian Wedding Soup (with Barley)

January 27, 2014


It’s the end of the month, which means our grocery budget is all used up and it’s time to get creative with meals.

Soup is ALWAYS a go-to meal for cleaning out the pantry/freezer. After a quick trip to the chest freezer, I came back with some frozen ground chicken and several mason jars of chicken stock. My first thought was Italian Wedding Soup!

A stroll over to the pantry, and I found myself empty-handed in the pasta department (we don’t eat pasta regularly, so it’s hardly ever in the pantry any more) BUT I had some leftover barley. Perfect!

It all came together in a matter of minutes and, although it isn’t “true” Italian Wedding Soup, it tasted awesome!

Here’s What You’ll Need

For the Meatballs:

-1 pound ground chicken

-1/2 cup bread crumbs

-1 egg

-1 tsp garlic powder

-1 tsp onion powder

-1 tsp dried oregano

-1 tsp dried basil

-salt and pepper

-plus 1 tbs olive oil for browning

**If you have fresh or dried parsley, throw some in too. I didn’t have any on hand**

For the Soup:

-1 medium yellow onion

-3 carrots

-2 ribs of celery

-2 cloves of garlic

-1 tbs olive oil (or ghee)

-8 cups chicken stock

-2 large handfuls of baby spinach: chopped

-1 handful of pearled barley

-1 tsp dried basil

-1 bay leaf

-salt and pepper

In a large bowl, combine meatball ingredients. Mix together using your hands (go ahead, get dirty). Shape into small meatballs; about a tablespoon of meat each.

In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of oil over medium heat. Add 1/3 of the meatballs to the skillet and lightly brown. Repeat until all the meatballs are cooked. Set aside

**Don’t worry about cooking the meatballs all the way through. They will finish cooking in the soup**

In an enameled dutch oven, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions, carrots, and celery; sauté until veggies are soft. Add garlic, chicken stock, spinach, meatballs, barley, dried basil, and bay leaf to the dutch oven. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Simmer for 30 to an hour (the longer you simmer, the more flavorful the soup will be). Salt and pepper to taste.

Serves 6

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1 Comment

  • Reply sseifert7 January 27, 2014 at 1:19 pm

    Sounds delightful!

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