Italian Wedding Soup

2 cloves crushed garlic
1 large onion, chopped
2 stocks celery including leaves sliced
3 quarts chicken stock or 3 quarts water made with chicken soup base
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon basil
½ cup white wine
1 c. acini di pepe, orzo or small pasta shells or stars
1 recipe Italian Meatballs
½ pound fresh washed and chopped or shredded spinach
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
1 to 2 tbsp. salt or to taste
¼ teaspoon pepper
8 tablespoons imported Parmesan or Asiago Cheese set aside

1. Heat an 8 to 10 quart Dutch oven or stockpot over medium for 2 to 3 minutes. Sauté garlic, onion, celery, stirring often until onions are soft.

2. Add chicken stock to pot along with dried herbs and increase heat to medium-high. Once stock has reach a low boil reduce heat to simmer.

3. While soup is simmering cook pasta according to package direction reducing cooking time by 3 to 4 minutes. Pasta should be slightly under done. Rinse pasta with cold water, drain and set aside.

4. Add wine, pasta, meat balls and continue to simmer until meat balls are heated through about 5 minutes. Stir in spinach and olive oil and adjust seasoning if necessary. Serve soup with crusty Italian bread and 1 tablespoon grated cheese.

Italian Meatballs
Olive oil cooking spray
½ pound 96% lean ground beef
½ pound 93 to 95% lean Italian turkey or chicken sausage, sweet or hot (no more than 2 .5 grams per 1 ounce serving.
1 clove fresh pressed garlic
½ up onion finely chopped
1 cup herb or garlic fat free croutons, processed into fine crumbs
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon dried oregano
1/8 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1 egg white

1. Preheat oven to 375F. Remove sausage from casings, if necessary. Mix ground beef and sausage together with garlic, onions and bread crumbs, salt garlic powder, oregano and egg white until well combined. If mixture seems to dry add and additional egg white to mixture.

2. Spray a large nonstick baking sheet with cooking spray or line a regular sheet with foil and spray lightly with cooking spray. Roll meat mixture into ¾ inch balls, approximately ½ ounce per meatball. Place meatballs on baking sheet and bake for 12 minutes, turning over once during baking time to prevent from over cooking bottoms. Remove from oven and set aside until ready to add to soup.

Yield approximately 8 2-cup servings with 1 tablespoon cheese each at approximately 205 calories; 6 grams fat; 2 gram saturated fat; 26 milligram 1116 milligrams sodium.

Compare at 380 Calories and 27 grams total fat

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