|A southernized version of classic Italian Wedding Soup, made with spicy sausage and beef meatballs, collards and black-eyed peas.|
Southernized Italian Wedding SoupItalian Wedding Soup has long been a southern favorite, but this version inspired by John Besh, makes it even more regional for us, and, it's a great way to use up some of those leftover black-eyed peas and collard greens you made for your New Year's Day meal. Don't fret if you don't have any leftovers on hand though, because you can certainly used canned products very successfully here, or fresh, quick cooking greens such as turnip, mustard or even baby spinach.
A traditional Italian Wedding Soup often uses a combination of beef and pork, and adds some typical meatball ingredients of bread crumb, egg, onion, garlic, parsley, and Parmesan cheese - forming the mixture into tiny meatballs. You can skip that step and use a spicy seasoned Italian sausage, breaking up the sausage as it cooks into larger chunks, rather than forming meatballs, and season with the meatball seasonings. Either way is good.
This is a delicious soup that comes together in virtually no time and is perfect for this chilly weather. Here's how to make it.
Adapted from My Family Table by John Besh
Recipe: Southernized Italian Wedding Soup©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 15 min |Cook time: 20 min | Yield: About 4 to 6 servings
For the Meatballs:
For the Soup:
- 1/2 pound of ground beef
- 1/2 pound of Italian sausage, removed from the casings
- 1/2 cup of dry bread crumbs
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons of dried parsley
- Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
- 1/4 cup of grated Parmesan
- 1 tablespoon of bacon drippings, canola or vegetable oil
- 1 cup of chopped onion
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 (14.5 ounce) can of stewed tomatoes
- 2 quarts of chicken broth or stock
- 1/2 tablespoon of dried parsley
- 1/2 teaspoon of Italian seasoning
- 1/4 teaspoon of Cajun seasoning (like Slap Ya Mama), or to taste
- 2 cups of cooked collards, turnip, or mixed greens
- 2 cups of cooked black-eyed peas
- Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
For the meatballs, combine the ground beef with the Italian sausage removed from the casings. Add the dry bread crumbs, eggs, garlic powder, parsley, salt and pepper and Parmesan. Combine and form into tiny meatballs, about the size of a cherry tomato. Bake in a preheated 400 degrees for 10 minutes, or pan fry until lightly browned.
Heat bacon fat or oil over medium to medium high heat, in the bottom of a Dutch oven or other heavy bottomed soup pot. Add the onion and garlic and cook until the onions are tender.
Use kitchen shears to cut up the stewed tomatoes in the can. Add, with the juices, to the vegetables; stir in the chicken broth, parsley, Italian seasoning and Cajun seasoning and bring to a boil. Add meatballs, reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Stir in the collards and black-eyed peas and heat through. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed. Serve with cornbread.
Cook's Notes: Can substitute 1 or 2 (14.5 ounce) cans of black-eyed peas, or white beans, drained and rinsed and 1 or 2 (15 ounce) cans of collards, turnip, mustard or mixed greens, drained or about 5 ounces of fresh baby spinach, kale, or other tender, quick cooking greens such as chopped, fresh turnip or mustard greens.
Sausage Variation: Heat bacon fat or oil over medium to medium high heat, in the bottom of a Dutch oven or other heavy bottomed pot. Use 1 pound of spicy Italian sausage, removing from casings and cook, breaking meat up into larger sized chunks. Add the meatball seasonings to the sausage and cook until the sausage is cooked through. Add to the soup ingredients.
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