5:00 Shut down computer. Start making meatballs.
5:15 Get sidetracked by mind-numbing carpool text thread.
5:30 Finish browning meatballs.
5:45 Pick up Kid One at friend’s house.
6:00 Start soup; add meatballs to soup.
6:30 Kid One sits down, by herself, to Italian Wedding Soup, a recipe that is debuting at the family table!
6:31 Kid One complains about stringy cheese. Scavenges for pasta. Eats a single walnut-size meatball.
6:45 Drive Kid One to soccer practice.
7:00 More mind-numbing carpool texting in parking lot.
7:15 Andy home, eats soup with Kid Two. Two rave reviews!
7:45 Me home, eat dinner standing up, ignore all texts. Wow, this soup is damn good.
8:20 Andy picks up Kid One at soccer.
9:00 Kid One starving. Eats second dinner, peanut butter on toast.
Italian Wedding Soup
There is really no reason why you can’t swap in your favorite store-bought, pre-cooked meatballs if you want to save time. (Also, this seems like a perfect meal to Deconstruct if you have a variety of eaters at your table: Serve a bowl of broth, then have everyone add what they want to the soup — pasta, spinach, cheese, meatballs. If you do it this way, make sure you cook the meatballs all the way through when you’re browning, instead of finishing them in the simmering broth.)
1 pound ground turkey
3 tablespoons finely minced onion
1 garlic clove, finely minced
1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs
1/2 cup shredded Parm
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/3 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
Few pinches fennel seeds
1 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper
few glugs olive oil
1 carrot, finely chopped
1 small celery stalk, finely chopped
2 tablespoons finely chopped onion
salt and pepper
4 cups chicken stock
four handfuls leafy greens such as spinach (shown) or kale
1 cup bite-size cooked pasta such as ditalini or orzo (optional)
Parm for serving
In a large bowl, combine all meatball ingredients except for olive oil. Form into walnut-size balls — you want them to be manageably bite-size. Add olive oil to a large skillet set over medium-high heat and brown meatballs on all sides. They do not have to be cooked through. Remove to a large platter.
Meanwhile, set a medium-large-ish soup pot over medium heat and add olive oil. Add carrot, celery, onion, and salt and pepper, and cook until vegetables have softened slightly. Add chicken stock and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and, using a large spoon, add meatballs to the broth. Simmer for 10-12 minutes until they are cooked through. Serve in bowls and stir in greens (uncooked, they’ll wilt in the hot soup), pasta, and more cheese if desired.