Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Rainy California Style Italian Wedding Soup

Despite the famous song,"It Never Rains in Southern California" it's honest to God actually raining in Southern California. Having spent about 95% of my life in the finicky weather of the Midwest, I never thought I'd get caught up in the hysteria of a pending storm. I mean, its just rain, right?! Well, I suppose not really as the flooding roads are clearly ill equipped to handle rain and so are the drivers!

California Style Italian Wedding Soup
After driving through rivers that were once roads and barely escaping panicked drivers, I returned home to the realization that I had never anticipated the difficulty of taking care of a dog when it rains. If you live in Seattle or some other rainy clime, please do enlighten me! A simple walk around the block turned into a muddy adventure and a smelly wet dog, followed by some fun wrestling as I tried in vain to clean up said odorous dog.

Italian Wedding Soup
Well after getting myself slimed by my once cute, but now stinky mutt, I settled in for some nice warm and cozy leftover soup last night. I spotted this recipe on Allrecipes.com and doctored it up with some garlic, veggies and spices and used ground turkey instead of beef. This is even tastier the next day as the flavors have a chance to meld. While I loved the combo of orzo, meatballs and veggies, I may experiment with adding some lemon juice for a little extra flavor in the broth.

Hope you had a good weekend and stay warm out there!

California Italian Wedding Soup

1/2 pound lean ground turkey (or beef)
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons Italian-seasoned breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons shredded fresh basil leaves
1 tablespoon chopped Italian flat leaf parsley
2 green onions, sliced
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, diced
2 large carrots, sliced
1 large celery stalk, diced
6 cups chicken broth
1 lemon, zested
1/2 cup orzo, uncooked
salt & pepper to taste
1/2 teaspoon oregano
2 cups finely sliced spinach
grated Parmesan cheese for topping

1.In a large bowl, mix together the meat, egg, bread crumbs, cheese, basil, parsley, green onions, salt & pepper; shape into 3/4 inch balls.

2.In a large stockpot, heat olive oil over medium high heat. Add in carrots and garlic. Stir for about 2 minutes and add celery. Cook for another 1-2 minutes.

3. Add in broth and increase heat to high. When boiling, drop in meatballs. Stir lemon zest and orzo. Season with a dash of salt and pepper, and the oregano. Return to a boil; reduce heat to medium. Cook at a slow boil for 10 minutes or until orzo is tender, stirring frequently. Add spinach and stir until wilted. Serve sprinkled with cheese.


Meghan said...

Mmm this is my kind of soup!!

I've never had a dog but I can imagine how big of a pain that was to clean up :(

Kayla said...

This looks so good. My dog hates the rain, so we have to force him to stay outside long enough to do his business, it's after the rain stops and he runs through the mud that he's a problem!

MrOrph said...

yeah...we just let ours out back in bad weather. they are so spoiled that they run off, do their business, and run right back to the deck for cover!

always have a towel standing by for paw drying tho...

i like the use of orzo here tho i would have to use the beef. :-)

noble pig said...

Yep, for 37 years no rain in So Cal, now in Oregon...rain every day. Soup looks fab for this weather.

Vicki said...

This morning somebody asked me how my drive home was yesterday. I said "fine", still thinking like a midwesterner after 12yrs in CA. I'll never get used to power outages and evacuations because of rain.

Yummy-looking soup :)

Esi said...

We NEED this rain. Good to have a warm soup like this to come home to.

Maria said...

We are getting snow, not rain! This is great snow soup too:)

vanillasugarblog said...

ha! we have nothing but rain here or snow. and then we have like 2 weeks of summer.

Unknown said...

yummm warm and comforting, perfect for today's weather :)

tigerfish said...

I am out of town for a while and heard that it is really raining bad in California. I hope the rain stops when I return in a few weeks time. This soup will be so comforting in the harsh weather.

Anonymous said...
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grace said...

ah, the many perks of pet-owning. it's all worth it though...right? :)
lovely soup, sharon--the perfect brothy creation for an icky day.

kat said...

Yeah, I remember laughing at how people would freak out at rainstorms in San Francisco until I hill I lived on turned into a waterfall

Meandering Eats said...

All I can say is WORD to the bad drivers and wet dogs. We keep a stack of old full-sized bath towels by the back door. Bear's really good about going quickly, so we have towels in our hands and attack him like the drying crew at a car wash. It helps a lot that Bear understands that a towel means sit or lay down, so he does either right away. More rain coming this afternoon... brace yourself! ;)

Erica said...

hahah. It actually rains quite a bit in South Carolina. And since we live in the "low country" our backyard often turns into a mud pit. This means we give frank a BIG dry of/clean off every time he comes in from the rain. The soup looks great. a nice lightened version of the classic

Dana Fallentine said...

This looks delicious! I can't wait to try it!

Kerstin said...

What a comforting and hearty soup - it looks so flavorful, and would definitely cheer me up after dealing with a wet doggie :)

Chef Fresco said...

Looks delicious! We've also been having an unusual amount of rain this winter - I hate it!

La Bella Cooks said...

I question why I got a fluffy little mutt each time my pup has to go in the rain to go potty! It takes forever to dry all his fluff, lol! I feel for you...
We are getting loads of rain here too in Northern CA and it isn't slowing down any.
I love the orzo in this soup and I can imagine adding more lemon would kick it right up.

Emily said...

I'm glad your safe! That sounds so, so scary. Don't leave your house!

This looks so good. I love all kinds of soup.

Heather said...

Mmm. SOUP! This is one of my all time favorite soups and I can twait to try your adaptation.