The weather here in Minnesota is gross this week. We had a little snow, then an inch of rain and then another 2 inches of snow and now… it’s just spitting a mixture of snow and rain. So I won’t be posting anything really “spring like” today. I am going for warm comfort food! This is a combo of the traditional Italian wedding soup and an Italian wedding stew. It’s not soup-y which makes my husband feel more like it’s a meal! The kids liked it, too -it warms your belly on a cold winter evening. I made homemade meat balls and they were delightful. I used half and froze the other half, I like meals that are double duty – then I can pull them out of the freezer and we can have spaghetti with meatballs another night.
Italian Wedding Soup-y Stew
Adapted from Barefoot Contessa, Back to Basics and also a recipe from Taste of Home Magazine
2 cups pasta, penne, shells, bowtie – spaghetti wouldn’t work well here, use something “bite” sized
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
1 10 oz container of condensed cream of mushroom soup, I love the brand Pacific.
2 cups of meatballs, click here for a meatball recipe or use your favorite frozen meatballs (Trader Joe’s has great frozen meatballs) Just make sure they are precooked – because the recipe only calls for re-heating.
1 10 oz bag of spinach (if your kids won’t eat this you can serve theirs and add this at the end), chopped
1 1/2 cup frozen peas, defrosted (I used asparagus the first few times I made this but I found the kids prefer peas)
1 cup low sodium chicken broth
2 tsp. fresh thyme or 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
3/4 cup shredded parmesan or any Italian cheese
salt and pepper to taste
Serves a family of 5 with leftovers
1. Cook the pasta until al dente – you want the pasta to be just slightly under cooked – because it will cook a bit more when you add it to the stew.
2. While the pasta is cooking – saute the onion and carrots in the olive oil until tender – about 4 minutes. Add the meatballs, mushroom soup, broth, thyme, salt and pepper – cook for about 5 minutes until the ingredients are heated through.
3. Add the spinach, peas and the pasta. Stir to incorporate all the ingredients. Once the spinach is wilted, about a minute – add the parmesan cheese. Remove from heat, adjust the salt and pepper.
4. Serve with a side of bread. Stay warm and enjoy!