My Grandma makes wedding soup every year on Christmas. Honestly, it is not Christmas without this dish being served. She keeps it warm on the stovetop all day long for when family enters at all hours of the day. When you walk in the door the aroma hits you and warms your heart. I have a photo copy of this recipe in my grandma’s penmanship, granted we did make some modifications. My grandma uses canned chicken and canned stock and garlic powder, etc. She also uses frozen spinach which works well instead of escarole. However my husband’s parents, when they make their wedding soup, they use escarole, so I guess we took a little bit of both worlds to make our own.
1 (4.5 #) Whole Chicken (My grandma uses canned chicken)
4 TB of Chicken Base
16 Cups of Water (1 Gallon)
2 Medium Carrots (will discard)
2 Celery Sticks (cut into 3 pieces) (will discard)
1/4 onion medium (quartered) (will discard)
Meat leftover from the chicken (shredded and bones removed)
Liquid from stock (all vegetables removed and discarded)
1 # Extra Small Meatballs (now you can make these by hand and Grandma does but we bought them at an Italian speciality store: however I will place grandma’s recipe below)
2 Tsp Pasta Sprinkle (Italian Seasoning)
3 -5 Garlic Cloves (We used 3 of our very strong homegrown) (diced)
3 Medium Carrots (diced)
1 Head of Escarole (chopped) (or 4 packs of frozen spinch)
1/2 Medium Onion (diced)
Crutons to taste
Parmesan reggiano freshly grated to Taste
10 ounce Acini Di Pep Pasta
Salt and Fresh cracked Pepper to taste
Yields: 12 servings
1. Place all stock ingredients into a 12 quart stock pan (discard the giblets) with lid place on medium heat. Let go on medium heat for 90 minutes.
2. Turn heat to simmer. Discard vegetables. Debone, shred and cut meat to bite size pieces. Place meat and new vegetables, escarole, meatballs, Italian seasoning, garlic, into chicken stock. Allow to cook on simmer for 1 hour to 1 hour and a half.
3. Cook acini di pepe separately according to package and allow your guests to add to their soup as they wish.
4. Add croutons & parmesan reggiano on side as well to add separately.
Grandma’s Meatball recipe:
1 # ground beef (93/7)
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
4-6 TB Parmesan Cheese freshly grated
2 Tsp garlic powder
2 Tsp Pasta Sprinkle (or Italian seasoning)
Place all ingredients in a bowl and mix to incorporate but do not over mix. Form into thumbtack size.