Tuesday, October 7, 2008

First Time: Italian Wedding Soup and
Product Review: New York Ciabatta Rolls

This soup was relatively quick to make, hearty without seeming heavy and passed muster with my sometimes-picky family. My husband liked that the spinach didn't seem slimy. I think I will chop the spinach next time before adding it to the pot. I also think I will add one more can of chicken broth. I liked that it packed in a lot of vegetables and low-fat meats -- that's turkey in the meatballs.

Taste of Home's Simple & Delicious magazine Sept./Oct. 2008
1 egg, beaten
3/4 cup chopped onion, divided
1/3 cup dry bread crumbs
1/2 pound ground turkey
1 1/2 teaspoons vegetable oil
2 cups sliced fresh carrots
1 1/2 cups chopped celery
1 tablespoon butter
4 cups fresh baby spinach (coarsely chopped)
3 (plus 1) 14 1/2-ounce cans chicken broth
1 cup cubed cooked chicken breast
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspooon pepper
1 1/4 cups acini di pepe pasta

In a large bowl, combine the egg, 1/4 cup onion and bread crumbs. Crumble turkey over mixture and mix well. Shape into 1-inch balls. In a large skillet, brown meatballs in oil until no longer pink; drain and set aside.

Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, saute the carrots, celery and remaning onion in butter until crisp-tender. Add the spinach, broth, chicken, parsley, thyme, salt, pepper and reserved meatballs. Cook, uncovered, over medium heat for 10 minutes.

Bring to a boil. Add pasta; cook, uncovered for 6-7 minutes or until pasta is tender, stirring occasionally. Yield: 6 servings.

I poached boneless skinless chicken breasts for use in this recipe by covering the chicken with water up to an inch above it. Bring the water to a boil then reduce to a bare simmer and partly cover. Cook for 10 minutes. Then cover completely and remove from heat. Let stand 15 minutes more.

I served big steaming mugs of this with a new product I found in the freezer case: New York brand Ciabatta Rolls. They were soft and chewy with the right amount of garlic and cheese and a lightly crackly crust. It didn't cut my mouth when I chewed it and I appreciate that. Very good. I will buy them again until I see how much they cost in relation to regular Texas Toast and then I may deem them a luxury.

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