Food Friday: Soups & Stews 1/5/18

Food Friday favorite Deanna Fox returns with soups and stews to help you shake winter's cold. WAMC's Ray Graf hosts.

The number to call is 1-800-348-2551. You can also email voxpop@wamc.org. 

Italian Wedding Soup

Serves 6-8

INGREDIENTS

For Meatballs:

8 ounces ground beef

8 ounces ground pork

1/2 cup bread crumbs

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

1 teaspoons dried oregano

1 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper

2 teaspoons kosher salt

1 teaspoon fresh black pepper

1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

1 large egg, beaten

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

For Soup:

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 large carrots, cut into a small dice

1 large onion, cut into a small dice

3 large stalks celery, leaves included, cut into a small dice

Kosher salt

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon tomato paste

1 pound kale, ribs removed and cut into small rough pieces (about 3 big handfuls)

10 cups chicken stock

1 cup dried couscous

Fresh black pepper

2 teaspoons red wine vinegar

Parmesan cheese, to finish

METHOD

For the Meatballs:

Combine all ingredients for the meatballs except for the olive and vegetables oils. Using your hand, mix these ingredients together until well combined, then form this mixture into small meatballs, about 1 inch in diameter.

Put the oils in a large skillet over medium heat. Place the meatballs in the skillet (working in batches if necessary) and brown on one side (about 2 minutes) and turn to brown on all sides (about 4 minutes in total). Drain meatballs on a paper towel-lined plate or baking sheet. Repeat until all meatballs are cooked.

For the Soup:

Heat the olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the carrot, onion, and celery with a generous pinch of salt to the oil and saute until the onions are translucent and the carrots and celery soften, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes, or until the garlic is fragrant. (Be careful not to burn it!). Add the tomato paste, and using a wooden spoon, work it into the vegetables. Cook for 1-2 minutes, or until the tomato paste starts to stick to the bottom of the pot. Add in the kale leaves and a few splashes of the chicken stock. Cover the pot and cook for 5 minutes, or until the kale has gone limp and softened. Slowly add the rest of the chicken stock to the pot and bring to a simmer. (Increase the heat to medium-high if needed). Add the couscous and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook, covered, until the couscous has absorbed some of the stock and is al dente.

Taste the soup for seasoning: Add more salt, fresh black pepper, and red wine vinegar if necessary. Add meatballs. Serve immediately, or keep at a very low simmer until ready to serve. Can be refrigerated and reheated, or frozen and reheated, if necessary.

Mulled White Wine

Serves 2-3

INGREDIENTS

1 bottle medium-bodied unoaked white wine (Vidal Blanc is a good one)

1 orange, cut into slices

2 sticks cinnamon

1-inch section of fresh ginger, cut into thin pieces

5 whole cardamom pods (press with a mortar and pestle to crack open)

5 whole allspice berries

5 whole cloves

1/3 cup honey

1/4 cup brandy

METHOD

Combine all ingredients together in a medium pot or Dutch oven. Cover and heat over medium heat until at a simmer. Reduce to low heat, and keep simmering for at least 30 minutes. Serve warm. (Can be made in a slow cooker, too.)